[ prob-luhm ]
See synonyms for: problemproblems on

  1. any question or matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty.

  2. a question proposed for solution or discussion.

  1. Mathematics. a statement requiring a solution, usually by means of a mathematical operation or geometric construction.

  1. difficult to train or guide; unruly: a problem child.

  2. Literature. dealing with choices of action difficult either for an individual or for society at large: a problem play.

Idioms about problem

  1. no problem, Informal.

    • (used as a conventional reply to a request or to express confirmation or affirmation): Sure, no problem, I can do that right away.

    • (used as a conventional reply to an expression of gratitude or thanks): No problem, I’m glad I could help!

Origin of problem

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English probleme, from Middle French problème, from Latin problēma, from Greek próblēma “something thrown or put forward, projection, obstacle, defence, something offered as an excuse, something proposed as a task, practical or theoretical problem” (akin to probállein “to throw or lay before”), equivalent to pro- pro-2 + -blē-, variant stem of bállein “to throw” (cf. parabola) + -ma noun suffix of result

Other words for problem

Opposites for problem

Other words from problem

  • sub·prob·lem, noun

Words Nearby problem Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use problem in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for problem


/ (ˈprɒbləm) /

    • any thing, matter, person, etc, that is difficult to deal with, solve, or overcome

    • (as modifier): a problem child

  1. a puzzle, question, etc, set for solution

  1. maths a statement requiring a solution usually by means of one or more operations or geometric constructions

  2. (modifier) designating a literary work that deals with difficult moral questions: a problem play

Origin of problem

C14: from Late Latin problēma, from Greek: something put forward; related to proballein to throw forwards, from pro- ² + ballein to throw

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with problem


see no problem.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.