[dif-i-kuhlt, -kuh lt]
- not easily or readily done; requiring much labor, skill, or planning to be performed successfully; hard: a difficult job.
- hard to understand or solve: a difficult problem.
- hard to deal with or get on with: a difficult pupil.
- hard to please or satisfy: a difficult employer.
- hard to persuade or induce; stubborn: a difficult old man.
- disadvantageous; trying; hampering: The operation was performed under the most difficult conditions.
- fraught with hardship, especially financial hardship: We saw some difficult times during the depression years.
Origin of difficult
1350–1400; Middle English, back formation from difficulty
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. arduous. See hard. 2. intricate, perplexing, involved, knotty. 4. particular, finical, fussy. 5. obdurate, uncompromising.
1. easy. 2. simple.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- not easy to do; requiring efforta difficult job
- not easy to understand or solve; intricatea difficult problem
- hard to deal with; troublesomea difficult child
- not easily convinced, pleased, or satisfieda difficult audience
- full of hardships or trialsdifficult times ahead
C14: back formation from difficulty
Word Origin and History for undifficult
c.1400, apparently a back-formation from difficulty. French has difficile, Latin difficilis. Of persons, "hard to please," from 1580s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper