Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “difficult”


adjective  /ˈdɪf·ɪ·kəlt, -ˌkʌlt/ us  
not easy or simple; hard to do or to understand: It’s a difficult choice, but I’ve got to decide which job is better. Difficult also means having problems: He’s in a difficult situation and could go bankrupt. A person who is difficult is not easy to deal with: I loved him, but he could be difficult at times.
(Definition of difficult from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of difficult?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Complicated and difficult to do, but you might be interested in these topics from the Easy and difficult topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “difficult” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

beer mat

a small piece of cardboard that you put under a glass to protect a table surface in a pub or bar

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More