What are some alternative words for difficult?

Synonyms for difficult
ˈdɪf ɪˌkʌlt, -kəlt

This thesaurus page is about all possible synonyms, equivalent, same meaning and similar words for the term difficult.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. difficult, hard(adj)

    not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure

    "a difficult task"; "nesting places on the cliffs are difficult of access"; "difficult times"; "why is it so hard for you to keep a secret?"

    severe, voiceless, arduous, grueling, tough, toilsome, concentrated, heavy, laborious, hard, gruelling, intemperate, knockout, punishing, unvoiced, operose, backbreaking, surd, strong, unmanageable

    uncomplicated, cushy, casual, hands-down, soft, clean, effortless, unproblematic, smooth, simple, easy, painless, simplified, elementary, user-friendly, easygoing

  2. unmanageable, difficult(adj)

    hard to control

    "a difficult child", "an unmanageable situation"

    uncorrectable, uncontrollable, hard, unwieldy, unmanageable

    easy, hands-down, cushy, clean, simple, uncomplicated, user-friendly, elementary, casual, unproblematic, painless, smooth, easygoing, simplified, soft, effortless


  1. difficult(adjective)

    cumbersome, hard, burdensome

  2. difficult(adjective)

    hard, not easy, requiring much effort

    cumbersome, burdensome, hard

  3. difficult(adjective)

    hard to manage, uncooperative, troublesome; eg. said of a person, a horse, etc.

    burdensome, hard, cumbersome

English Synonyms and Antonyms

  1. difficult

    Arduous (Latin arduus, steep) signifies primarily so steep and lofty as to be difficult of ascent, and hence applies to that which involves great and sustained exertion and ordinarily for a lofty aim; great learning can only be won by arduous toil. Hard applies to anything that resists our endeavors as a scarcely penetrable mass resists our physical force. Anything is hard that involves tax and strain whether of the physical or mental powers. Difficult is not used of that which merely taxes physical force; a dead lift is called hard rather than difficult; breaking stone on the road would be called hard rather than difficult work; that is difficult which involves skill, sagacity, or address, with or without a considerable expenditure of physical force; a geometrical problem may be difficult to solve, a tangled skein to unravel; a mountain difficult to ascend. Hard may be active or passive; a thing may be hard to do or hard to bear. Arduous is always active. That which is laborious or toilsome simply requires the steady application of labor or toil till accomplished; toilsome is the stronger word. That which is onerous (Latin onus, a burden) is mentally burdensome or oppressive. Responsibility may be onerous even when it involves no special exertion.

    arduous, exhausting, hard, laborious, onerous, severe, toilsome, trying

    easy, facile, light, pleasant, slight, trifling, trivial

Editors Contribution

  1. ardouos

    Submitted by anonymous on December 16, 2019  

Dictionary of English Synonymes

  1. difficult(a.)

    hard, arduous. herculean, up-hill, beset with difficulty

  2. difficult(a.)

    austere, rigid, unyielding, unaccommodating

  3. difficult(a.)

    fastidious, dainty, squeamish, hard to please

Synonyms, Antonyms & Associated Words

  1. difficult(a)

    arduous, onerous, complicated, intricate, hard, uncompliant, intractable, perverse, fastidious, exacting

    facile, light, easy

How to pronounce difficult?

US English

How to say difficult in sign language?

  1. difficult

Words popularity by usage frequency


How to use difficult in a sentence?

  1. Evan Feinberg:

    I made the difficult decision to leave Generation Opportunity because I was really excited about a new project that I'll be leading, i look forward to telling the world about it.

  2. Jessica Mann:

    I know the history of my relationship with him, i know it was complicated and difficult. That doesn't change the fact that he raped me.

  3. Bernie Sanders:

    Puerto Rico is now in very, very difficult straits. People are leaving the island, unemployment is high, schools are being closed, bottom line is you cannot get blood from a stone. You can't push more austerity on a people who are already hurting. The goal is to rebuild the economy.

  4. Javier Capape:

    It's difficult to assess - it will depend on whether they can reach an agreement in the short run, i wouldn't be surprised to see some refocusing in Qatar if the situation continues.

  5. State John Kerry:

    While sometimes things look bleak and difficult, there’s opportunity in everything, and you have to find the opportunity, you have to work to do that with creative leadership, i am absolutely confident that if people approach this thoughtfully, studiously, soberly, with creativity, there is a way to find strength out of whatever we do ahead.

Translations for difficult

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for difficult »


Find a translation for the difficult synonym in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Images & Illustrations of difficult

  1. difficult

Discuss these difficult synonyms with the community:



    Use the citation below to add these synonyms to your bibliography:


    "difficult." Synonyms.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 5 Mar. 2021. <https://www.synonyms.com/synonym/difficult>.

    Are we missing a good synonym for difficult?

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant synonyms for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant synonyms for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a human thesaurus?

    Which of the following terms is not a synonym of "shopsoiled"?
    • A. well-worn
    • B. new
    • C. hackneyed
    • D. commonplace

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for difficult:

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.