Problem definition

prŏbləm
Frequency:
Dealing with a moral or social problem.

A problem play.

adjective
47
21
The definition of a problem is something that has to be solved or an unpleasant or undesirable condition that needs to be corrected.

An example of a problem is an algebra equation.

An example of a problem is when it is raining and you don't have an umbrella.

noun
18
2
A question to be considered, solved, or answered.

Math problems.

noun
34
23
A question, matter, situation, or person that is perplexing or difficult.
noun
21
15
Presenting a problem of human conduct or social relationships.

A problem novel.

adjective
9
3
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(math.) A proposition requiring solution by mathematical operations, constructions, etc.
noun
8
4
A situation, matter, or person that is hard to deal with or understand.

Was having problems breathing; considered the main problem to be his boss.

noun
3
0
A misgiving, objection, or complaint.

I have a problem with his cynicism.

noun
3
1
A personal matter that causes one difficulty or needs to be dealt with.

Felt her tyrannical boss had deep-seated problems.

noun
3
1
Very difficult to deal with; esp., very difficult to train or discipline.

A problem child.

adjective
8
7
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A question proposed for solution or consideration.
noun
7
6
Difficult to train or guide; unruly.
adjective
1
2
A difficulty that has to be resolved or dealt with.

She's leaving because she faced numerous problems to do with racism.

noun
1
3
A question to be answered, schoolwork exercise.
noun
1
3
noun
1
3
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Difficult to deal with or control.

A problem child.

adjective
5
9
no problem
  • Used to express confirmation of or compliance with a request.
  • Used to acknowledge an expression of gratitude.
idiom
4
2
(informal) have a problem with
  • to be unable to understand or do
    She has a problem with French verbs.
  • to disagree with; disapprove of
    I have a problem with your plans to paint the kitchen purple.
idiom
5
2
(informal) no problem!
  • yes!; I will do what you ask!
  • easily done!
  • you're welcome!
idiom
4
2

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
problem
Plural:
problemata, problems

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

have a problem with

Origin of problem

  • Middle English probleme from Old French from Latin problēma problēmat- from Greek from proballein to throw before, put forward pro- before pro–2 ballein blē- to throw gwelə- in Indo-European roots

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

  • From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin problema, from Ancient Greek πρόβλημα (problema, “anything thrown forward, hindrance, obstacle, anything projecting, a headland, promontory"), from προβάλλω (proballo, “to throw or lay something in front of someone, to put forward"), from προ- (pro-, “in front of") + βάλλω (ballo, “to throw, to cast, to hurl").

    From Wiktionary