Difficult definition

dĭfĭ-kŭlt, -kəlt
Not easy to please, satisfy, or manage.

A difficult child.

adjective
17
8
Hard, not easy, requiring much effort.
adjective
7
0
(often of a person, or a horse, etc) Hard to manage, uncooperative, troublesome.

Stop being difficult and eat your broccoli—you know it's good for you.

adjective
5
1
(obsolete) To make difficult; to impede; to perplex.

verb
4
1
The definition of difficult is something that is hard to understand or do and is a person that is hard to get along with.

An example of difficult is a very complicated calculus problem.

An example of difficult is a person who is critical all the time and never pleased.

adjective
3
0
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Hard to satisfy, persuade, please, etc.
adjective
3
0
Hard to do, make, manage, understand, etc.; requiring extra effort, skill, or thought.
adjective
3
0
Having or characterized by difficulties or troubles.

Stocks holding up despite a difficult economy.

adjective
2
0
Not easy to persuade or convince; stubborn.
adjective
7
6
Not easy to endure; full of hardship or trouble; trying.

Fell upon difficult times.

adjective
5
4
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Not easy to comprehend, solve, or explain.

A difficult puzzle.

adjective
5
4
Requiring considerable effort or skill; not easy to do or accomplish.
adjective
3
4

Origin of difficult

  • Middle English back-formation from difficulte difficulty difficulty

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From difficulty, from Middle English difficultee, from Old French difficulté, from Latin difficultas, from difficul, older form of difficilis (“hard to do, difficult”), from dis- + facilis (“easy”); see difficile.

    From Wiktionary