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See more synonyms for problematic on Thesaurus.com
  1. of the nature of a problem; doubtful; uncertain; questionable.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for problematically

Historical Examples

  • The similarity between the words "sandlotter" and "sansculotte" is problematically significant, but indubitably suggestive.

    The Devil's Dictionary

    Ambrose Bierce

  • That meant a problematically useful, indubitably dull debate.

  • Awfully good of you to worry about my sufferings in being obliged to reply to your—problematically—boring letters!

    An Unknown Lover

    Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

  • At this time I am not problematically given; I have a humour of complaisance upon me, and will contradict no man.

British Dictionary definitions for problematically



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



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper