not easily or readily done; requiring much labor, skill, or planning to be performed successfully; hard: a difficult job.
hard to understand or solve: a difficult problem.
hard to deal with or get on with: a difficult pupil.
hard to please or satisfy: a difficult employer.
hard to persuade or induce; stubborn: a difficult old man.
disadvantageous; trying; hampering: The operation was performed under the most difficult conditions.
fraught with hardship, especially financial hardship: We saw some difficult times during the depression years.
Origin of difficult
1350–1400; Middle English, back formation from difficulty
Synonyms for difficult
Antonyms for difficult
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
not easy to do; requiring efforta difficult job
not easy to understand or solve; intricatea difficult problem
hard to deal with; troublesomea difficult child
not easily convinced, pleased, or satisfieda difficult audience
full of hardships or trialsdifficult times ahead
Word Origin for difficult
C14: back formation from difficulty
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
c.1400, apparently a back-formation from difficulty. French has difficile, Latin difficilis. Of persons, "hard to please," from 1580s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper