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

Complete Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms

  1. difficult

    hard, intricate, involved, perplexing, enigmatical, obscure, trying, arduous, troublesome, up hill, unmanageable, unamenable, reserved, opposed

    easy, plain, straight, pimple, lucid, categorical, tractable, amenable, unreserved, favorable

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

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  1. difficult

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How to use difficult in a sentence?

  1. Andy Sutherden:

    New brands sponsoring football have got their eye on unlocking a youth audience in Asia, football magnetises a youth audience that is otherwise difficult to reach.

  2. Jonathan Bloch:

    Panama represents the southernmost extreme of the North American continent at that time, it may have swum across, but this would have required covering a distance of more than 100 miles, a difficult feat for sure. It's more likely that it unintentionally rafted across on mats of vegetation.

  3. Penny Papageorgiou:

    The worst thing is you don't get paid wages ... it is difficult to find a job in the theater where you will get paid.

  4. John Sununu:

    I think that he's perfectly on line. But I think it's a lot more difficult to do on the national level than it is to do in a state.

  5. Raymond Dauvin:

    There's ... no new problems that could lead to this type of thing, except that it’s an isolated town, you have to leave town to work. And it’s difficult, because if you leave town you're in an environment of other people who don't speak Dene. In a way, it's your nation up here.

Translations for difficult

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