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Webster 1913 Edition


Difficulty

Dif′fi-cul-ty

,
Noun.
;
pl.
Difficulties
(#)
.
[L.
difficultas
, fr.
difficilis
difficult;
dif-
= dis-
+
facilis
easy: cf. F.
difficulté
. See
Facile
.]
1.
The state of being difficult, or hard to do; hardness; arduousness; – opposed to
easiness
or
facility
;
as, the
difficulty
of a task or enterprise; a work of
difficulty
.
Not being able to promote them [the interests of life] on account of the
difficulty
of the region.
James Byrne.
2.
Something difficult; a thing hard to do or to understand; that which occasions labor or perplexity, and requires skill and perseverance to overcome, solve, or achieve; a hard enterprise; an obstacle; an impediment;
as, the
difficulties
of a science;
difficulties
in theology.
They lie under some
difficulties
by reason of the emperor’s displeasure.
Addison.
3.
A controversy; a falling out; a disagreement; an objection; a cavil.
Measures for terminating all local
difficulties
.
Bancroft.
4.
Embarrassment of affairs, especially financial affairs; – usually in the plural;
as, to be in
difficulties
.
Syn. – Impediment; obstacle; obstruction; embarrassment; perplexity; exigency; distress; trouble; trial; objection; cavil. See
Impediment
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Difficulty

DIFFICULTY

,
Noun.
[L.]
1.
Hardness to be done or accomplished; the state of any thing which renders its performance laborious or perplexing; opposed to easiness or facility; as the difficulty of a task or enterprise; a work of labor and difficulty.
2.
That which is hard to be performed or surmounted. We often mistake difficulties for impossibilities. To overcome difficulties is an evidence of a great mind.
3.
Perplexity; embarrassment of affairs; trouble; whatever renders progress or execution of designs laborious. We lie under many difficulties, by reason of bad markets, or a low state of trade.
4.
Objection; obstacle to belief; that which cannot be easily understood, explained or believed, Men often raise difficulties concerning miracles and mysteries in religion, which candid research will remove.
5.
In a popular sense, bodily complaints; indisposition.

Definition 2023


difficulty

difficulty

English

Noun

difficulty (countable and uncountable, plural difficulties)

  1. The state of being difficult, or hard to do.
  2. An obstacle that hinders achievement of a goal.
    We faced a difficulty.
  3. Physical danger from the environment, especially with risk of drowning
    • 2016 February 24, Catherine Shanahan, "Boy, 13, drowns after getting into difficulty in river" Irish Examiner
      The three teenagers, a girl and two boys, were playing by the river when it is believed they got into difficulty.
    • 2016 March 14, "Kayaker rescued after getting into difficulty" Bournemouth Echo
      Members of the public had called 999 as they were concerned the kayaker was in difficulty around the headland race due to very strong spring tides and choppy seas with the kayaker making no headway.
    • 2016 March 19, Neil Shaw "Teens rescued from Dartmoor after getting into difficulty" Plymouth Herald
      A group of young people had to be rescued from Dartmoor on Friday night after getting into difficulty during a Duke of Edinburgh exercise. ... A 16-year-old girl required medical attention and a medic was winched down to the site by helicopter.

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

External links

  • difficulty in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • difficulty in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911