difficulty */*/*/


difficulty */*/*/
UK [ˈdɪfɪk(ə)ltɪ] / US [ˈdɪfɪkəltɪ] noun
Word forms "difficulty":
singular difficulty plural difficulties
Metaphor:
A difficult idea or situation is like a knot or something that is tied up, tangled, or twisted. When you deal with it successfully, it is like untying it and getting rid of the knots and tangles. This is a really knotty problem. I was tying myself in knots trying to understand how the system worked. Our financial affairs were in a complete tangle. I spent ages trying to sort it out. Sometimes it's hard to disentangle fact from fiction. You need to tease out all the implications of the question. It would take a genius to unravel the complexities of his business dealings. These are difficult situations, and it takes time to straighten them out. No government has yet had the courage to cut the Gordian knot of the pensions crisis.  problem, situation, understand
1) [uncountable] if you have difficulty with something, you are not able to do it easily
have difficulty with something:

She's having difficulty with her schoolwork this year.

have difficulty (in) doing something:

Six months after the accident, he still has difficulty walking.

great/considerable difficulty:

We had considerable difficulty finding anywhere to park.

do something with/without difficulty:

Seb was speaking with great difficulty.

2) [countable] a problem

learning/reading/breathing difficulties

difficulty with/in:

If you experience difficulties in completing the form, ask for help.

have/experience/encounter difficulties:

students who encounter financial difficulties

cause/give rise to/lead to a difficulty:

Implementing the policy caused difficulties within the company.

the difficulty is:

The real difficulty is that no one in the group has a car.

a difficulty arises:

New difficulties arose from this arrangement.


Collocations:
Verbs frequently used with difficulty as the object ▪  encounter, experience, face, find, have
3) [uncountable/plural] a bad situation with a lot of problems
in difficulty:

The loss puts our company in financial difficulty.

get/run into difficulty:

The climbers got into difficulties when there was a sudden storm.

4) [uncountable] how difficult something is

The courses vary in content and difficulty.


English dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • difficulty — difficulty, hardship, rigor, vicissitude are synonyms only when they mean something which demands effort and endurance if it is to be overcome or one s end achieved. Difficulty, the most widely applicable of these terms, applies to any condition …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Difficulty — Dif fi*cul*ty, n.; pl. {Difficulties}. [L. difficultas, fr. difficilis difficult; dif = dis + facilis easy: cf. F. difficult[ e]. See {Facile}.] 1. The state of being difficult, or hard to do; hardness; arduousness; opposed to {easiness} or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • difficulty — [dif′i kul΄tē, dif′ikəl΄tē] n. pl. difficulties [ME & OFr difficulte < L difficultas < difficilis, difficult < dis , not + facilis, easy: see FACILE] 1. the condition or fact of being difficult 2. something that is difficult, as a hard… …   English World dictionary

  • difficulty — [n1] problem; situation requiring great effort adversity, arduousness, awkwardness, barricade, check, complication, crisis, crux, dead end, deadlock, deep water*, dilemma, distress, emergency, exigency, fix*, frustration, hardship, hazard,… …   New thesaurus

  • difficulty — late 14c., from O.Fr. difficulté, from L. difficultatem (nom. difficultas) difficulty, distress, poverty, from difficilis hard, from dis not, away from (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + facilis easy (see FACILE (Cf. facile)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • difficulty — index adversity, aggravation (annoyance), bar (obstruction), burden, complex (entanglement) …   Law dictionary

  • difficulty — ► NOUN (pl. difficulties) 1) the state or condition of being difficult. 2) a difficult or dangerous situation or circumstance. ORIGIN Latin difficultas, from facultas ability, opportunity …   English terms dictionary

  • difficulty — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ considerable, enormous, extreme, grave, great, major, real, serious, severe ▪ We had enormous difficulty …   Collocations dictionary

  • difficulty — dif|fi|cul|ty [ dıfıkəlti ] noun *** 1. ) uncount how difficult something is: The courses vary in content and difficulty. 2. ) uncount if you have difficulty with something, you are not able to do it easily: difficulty (in) doing something: Six… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • difficulty — n. 1) to cause, create, make, present difficulties for 2) to come across, encounter, experience, face, meet, run into difficulties 3) to clear up, overcome, resolve, surmount a difficulty 4) (a) grave, great, insurmountable, serious, severe… …   Combinatory dictionary