of the nature of a problem; doubtful; uncertain; questionable.

Often prob·lem·at·i·cal.

Origin of problematic

1600–10; < Late Latin problēmaticus < Greek problēmatikós, equivalent to problēmat- (stem of próblēma) problem + -ikos -ic
Related formsprob·lem·at·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·prob·lem·at·ic, adjectivenon·prob·lem·at·i·cal, adjectivenon·prob·lem·at·i·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-prob·lem·at·ic, adjectiveun·prob·lem·at·ic, adjectiveun·prob·lem·at·i·cal, adjectiveun·prob·lem·at·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for problematic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for problematical

Contemporary Examples of problematical

Historical Examples of problematical

  • Must we, on this account, consider these histories as problematical?

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • The utility of these appendages is, even now, problematical.

    On the Genesis of Species

    St. George Mivart

  • The results to Baldassarre were too problematical to be taken into account.


    George Eliot

  • But success in this direction is problematical, to say the least.

    East of Suez

    Frederic Courtland Penfield

  • She wants to leave it here for me and my problematical children.

British Dictionary definitions for problematical




having the nature or appearance of a problem; questionable
logic obsolete (of a proposition) asserting that a property may or may not holdCompare apodeictic (def. 2), assertoric
Derived Formsproblematically, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for problematical



c.1600, "doubtful, questionable," from French problematique (15c.), from Late Latin problematicus, from Greek problematikos "pertaining to a problem," from problematos, genitive of problema (see problem). Specific sense in logic, differentiating what is possible from what is necessarily true, is from 1610s. Related: Problematical (1560s); problematically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper