- any question or matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty.
- a question proposed for solution or discussion.
- Mathematics. a statement requiring a solution, usually by means of a mathematical operation or geometric construction.
- difficult to train or guide; unruly: a problem child.
- Literature. dealing with choices of action difficult either for an individual or for society at large: a problem play.
- no problem, (used as a conventional reply to a request or to express confirmation, affirmation, or gratitude).
Origin of problem
SynonymsSee more synonyms for problem on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for problem
Every once in a while, they act swiftly and acknowledge the problem.Today’s GOP: Still Cool With Racist Pandering?
January 7, 2015
Part of the problem is the mandate of the war and the means with which the U.S. is fighting it do not match up.Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War
Nancy A. Youssef
January 7, 2015
The third problem is the evidence of corroborating witnesses.Buckingham Palace Disputes Sex Allegations Against Prince ‘Randy Andy’
January 4, 2015
But this physical involvement, or lack of it, is only part of the problem.Flight 8501 Poses Question: Are Modern Jets Too Automated to Fly?
January 4, 2015
Anyone who tries to draw attention to threats instead of quietly burying them is worsening the problem.Cover-Ups and Concern Trolls: Actually, It's About Ethics in Suicide Journalism
January 3, 2015
To solve their problem the engineers borrowed an idea from the Sumerians.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
That the problem is here crying aloud for solution is apparent.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem.
The financial as well as this ecclesiastical question was a problem.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Today we can declare: Government is not the problem, and government is not the solution.
- any thing, matter, person, etc, that is difficult to deal with, solve, or overcome
- (as modifier)a problem child
- a puzzle, question, etc, set for solution
- maths a statement requiring a solution usually by means of one or more operations or geometric constructions
- (modifier) designating a literary work that deals with difficult moral questionsa problem play
Word Origin and History for problem
late 14c., "a difficult question proposed for solution," from Old French problème (14c.) and directly from Latin problema, from Greek problema "a task, that which is proposed, a question;" also "anything projecting, headland, promontory; fence, barrier;" also "a problem in geometry," literally "thing put forward," from proballein "propose," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).
Meaning "a difficulty" is mid-15c. Mathematical sense is from 1560s in English. Problem child first recorded 1920. Phrase _______ problem in reference to a persistent and seemingly insoluble difficulty is attested at least from 1882, in Jewish problem. Response no problem "that is acceptable; that can be done without difficulty" is recorded from 1968.
Idioms and Phrases with problem
see no problem.