English dictionary

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English noun: difficulty

1. difficulty (act) an effort that is inconvenient

SamplesI went to a lot of trouble.
He won without any trouble.
Had difficulty walking.
Finished the test only with great difficulty.


Broader (hypernym)effort, elbow grease, exertion, sweat, travail

Narrower (hyponym)the devil, tsuris

2. difficulty (cognition) a factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result

SamplesSerious difficulties were encountered in obtaining a pure reagent.

Broader (hypernym)cognitive factor

Narrower (hyponym)balk, baulk, booby trap, check, deterrent, facer, handicap, hinderance, hindrance, impediment, killer, kink, pisser, pitfall, problem, snorter, trouble, wrinkle

3. difficulty (state) a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome

SamplesGrappling with financial difficulties.

Broader (hypernym)condition, status

Narrower (hyponym)bitch, fix, hard time, hole, jam, job, kettle of fish, mess, mire, muddle, pickle, pinch, plight, predicament, problem, quandary, rattrap, rough sledding, situation, strain, stress, urinary hesitancy, wall

4. difficulty (attribute) the quality of being difficult

SamplesThey agreed about the difficulty of the climb.


Broader (hypernym)quality

Narrower (hyponym)asperity, burdensomeness, effortfulness, formidability, grimness, hardness, hardship, heaviness, inconvenience, niceness, onerousness, oppressiveness, rigor, rigorousness, rigour, rigourousness, ruggedness, severeness, severity, subtlety, toughness, troublesomeness, worriment

Attributedifficult, hard

Antonymsease, easiness, simpleness, simplicity

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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