difficult


difficult
I
(Roget's IV) modif.
1. [Hard to achieve]
Syn. laborious, hard, arduous, strenuous, demanding, exacting, hard-won, stiff, heavy, painful, labored, trying, titanic, bothersome, troublesome, burdensome, backbreaking, not easy, wearisome, onerous, attended by obstacles, rigorous, Herculean, requiring much effort, Gargantuan, uphill, Sisyphean, challenging, taxing, formidable, ambitious, intricate, irksome, vexatious, tedious, immense, exhausting, grueling, stressful, unyielding, tricky, delicate, ticklish, beyond one's ability, tough*, heavy*, man-sized*, no picnic*, hairy*, sticky*; see also onerous , severe 1 .
Ant. easy*, manageable, light.
2. [Hard to understand]
Syn. intricate, involved, perplexing, abstruse, abstract, tricky, hard, obscure, complex, complicated, knotty, thorny, troublesome, obstinate, puzzling, mysterious, mystifying, subtle, confusing, bewildering, dark, confounding, esoteric, unclear, mystical, tangled, hard to explain, hard to solve, entangled, profound, vexing, baffling, enmeshed, rambling, loose, meandering, trackless, inexplicable, pathless, awkward, digressive, turgid, deep, stubborn, labyrinthine, hidden, formidable, enigmatic, occult, paradoxical, incomprehensible, unintelligible, inscrutable, inexplicable, unanswerable, not understandable, unsolvable, unfathomable, concealed, unaccountable, ambiguous, equivocal, metaphysical, inconceivable, recondite, overtechnical, unknown, steep*, tough*, over one's head*, beyond one's depth*, too deep*, beyond one's comprehension, not making sense, Greek to*, past comprehension; see also obscure 1 , 3 .
Ant. simple, clear*, easy.
3. [Hard to deal with or manage]
Syn. unmanageable, perverse, unaccommodating, finicky; see careful , contrary 4 , irritable , obstinate .
Syn.- hard , in this comParison, is the simple and general word for whatever demands Great physical or mental effort [hard work, a hard problem ] ; difficult applies especially to that which requires Great skill, intelligence, tact, etc. rather than physical labor [ a difficult situation; a difficult book ] ; arduous implies the need for diligent, protracted effort [ the arduous fight ahead of us ] ; laborious suggests long, wearisome toil [ the laborious task of picking fruit ]
II
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus) a.
1. hard laborious, arduous, demanding, strenuous, tough, *Herculean, back-breaking, wearisome, burdensome, *Sisyphean, formidable.
2. complicated abstruse, intricate, perplexing, recondite, hard, *brain-draining, complex, knotty, enigmatic, unfathomable, problematic.
3. unmanageable intractable, obstinate, unaccommodating, hard to please, unruly, refractory, trying, stubborn, *a pain, fussy.
ANT.: 1. easy, simple, *a snap, *child's play. 2. simple, uncomplicated, obvious. 3. easy to please, easygoing, accommodating
III
(Roget's Thesaurus II) adjective 1. Not easy to do, achieve, or master: arduous, hard, laborious, serious, tall, tough, uphill. See EASY. 2. Requiring great or extreme bodily, mental, or spiritual strength: arduous, back-breaking, burdensome, demanding, effortful, exacting, exigent, formidable, hard, heavy, laborious, onerous, oppressive, rigorous, rough, severe, taxing, tough, trying, weighty. See HEAVY. 3. Causing difficulty, trouble, or discomfort: incommodious, inconvenient, troublesome. See COMFORT. 4. Given to acting in opposition to others: balky, contrarious, contrary, froward, impossible, ornery, perverse, wayward. See ATTITUDE, SUPPORT.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Difficult — Dif fi*cult, a. [From {Difficulty}.] 1. Hard to do or to make; beset with difficulty; attended with labor, trouble, or pains; not easy; arduous. [1913 Webster] Note: Difficult implies the notion that considerable mental effort or skill is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • difficult — I adjective arduous, attended by obstacles, awkward, beset with difficulty, beyond one s reach, bothersome, burdensome, complex, complicated, convoluted, difficile, difficilis, encompassed with difficulties, enigmatic, entangled by difficulties,… …   Law dictionary

  • difficult — [adj1] hard on someone; hard to do ambitious, arduous, backbreaker*, bothersome, burdensome, challenging, crucial, demanding, difficile, easier said than done*, effortful, exacting, formidable, galling, Gargantuan*, hardwon, heavy, Herculean*,… …   New thesaurus

  • Difficult — Dif fi*cult, v. t. To render difficult; to impede; to perplex. [R.] Sir W. Temple. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • difficult — c.1400, apparently a back formation from DIFFICULTY (Cf. difficulty). French has difficile, Latin difficilis. Of persons, hard to please, from 1580s …   Etymology dictionary

  • difficult — *hard, arduous Analogous words: perplexing, puzzling, mystifying (see PUZZLE): intricate, involved, complicated, *complex, knotty: *obscure, enigmatic, cryptic: exacting, *onerous, burdensome Antonyms: simple Contrasted words: *easy, facile,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • difficult — ► ADJECTIVE 1) needing much effort or skill to accomplish, deal with, or understand. 2) not easy to please or satisfy; awkward …   English terms dictionary

  • difficult — [dif′i kult΄, dif′ikəlt] adj. [ME, back form. < DIFFICULTY] 1. hard to do, make, manage, understand, etc.; involving trouble or requiring extra effort, skill, or thought 2. hard to satisfy, persuade, please, etc. SYN. HARD difficultly adv …   English World dictionary

  • difficult — dif|fi|cult W1S1 [ˈdıfıkəlt] adj [Date: 1300 1400; Origin: difficulty] 1.) hard to do, understand, or deal with ≠ ↑easy ▪ a difficult question ▪ an immensely difficult task ▪ Was the exam very difficult? ▪ It s difficult to see how more savings… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • difficult — dif|fi|cult [ dıfıkəlt ] adjective *** 1. ) not easy to do, deal with, or understand: HARD: Choosing the winner was a difficult task. The exam questions were too difficult. difficult to do something: It s difficult to say what time I will get… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • difficult */*/*/ — UK [ˈdɪfɪk(ə)lt] / US [ˈdɪfɪkəlt] adjective 1) not easy to do, deal with, or understand Choosing the winner was a difficult task. The exam questions were too difficult. it is difficult to do something: It s difficult to say what time I will get… …   English dictionary


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