[ prob-luh-mat-ik ]
See synonyms for problematic on
  1. of the nature of a problem; doubtful; uncertain; questionable: We've discussed the problematic benefits of the treatment.

  2. involving or presenting a problem that is difficult to deal with or solve: She faces a problematic decision.

  1. tending or likely to elicit objections or disapproval; offensive: My ex-boyfriend's political opinions were often embarrassingly problematic.We've all had to deal with problematic relatives during the holidays.

Origin of problematic

First recorded in 1600–10; from Late Latin problēmaticus, from Greek problēmatikós, equivalent to problēmat- (stem of próblēma) problem + -ikos-ic
  • Often prob·lem·at·i·cal [prob-luh-mat-i-kuhl] /ˌprɒb ləˈmæt ɪ kəl/ .

Other words for problematic

Other words from problematic

  • prob·lem·at·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • non·prob·lem·at·ic, adjective
  • non·prob·lem·at·i·cal, adjective
  • non·prob·lem·at·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • qua·si-prob·lem·at·ic, adjective
  • un·prob·lem·at·ic, adjective
  • un·prob·lem·at·i·cal, adjective
  • un·prob·lem·at·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use problematic in a sentence

  • Wallace's plays are more or less problematical and Maud has invested a good deal of her money in this.

    The Beauty | Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
  • During part of the march up rations had been short, and for a number of days were very problematical.

    War in the Garden of Eden | Kermit Roosevelt

British Dictionary definitions for problematic



/ (ˌprɒbləˈmætɪk) /

  1. having the nature or appearance of a problem; questionable

  2. logic obsolete (of a proposition) asserting that a property may or may not hold: Compare apodeictic (def. 2), assertoric

Derived forms of problematic

  • problematically, 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