Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Origin: difficulty

difficult

adjective
     
dif‧fi‧cult S1 W1
1 hard to do, understand, or deal with [≠ easy]:
a difficult question
an immensely difficult task
Was the exam very difficult?
It's difficult to see how more savings can be made.
difficult (for somebody) to understand/find/obtain etc
That's rather difficult for me to explain.
He's finding it difficult to get a job.
2 involving a lot of problems and causing a lot of trouble or worry:
a difficult situation
Things are a bit difficult at home at the moment.
There could be difficult times ahead.
make life/things difficult for somebody (=cause problems for someone)
She's doing everything she can to make life difficult for him.
3 someone who is difficult never seems pleased or satisfied [= awkward]:
Don't be so difficult!
a difficult customer
WORD FOCUS: difficult WORD FOCUS: difficult
difficult to do: hard, tough, challenging, daunting

difficult and needing a lot of physical effort: tough, strenuous, back-breaking, gruelling, arduous, punishing

difficult to deal with or talk about: tricky, awkward, delicate, sensitive, touchy

words for describing a difficult person: awkward, trying

words for describing difficult conditions: adverse, hostile

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