Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “difficulty”


noun [C/U]    /ˈdɪf·ɪ·kəl·ti, -ˌkʌl·ti/
the fact of not being easy , or of being hard to do or understand : [U] He has some difficulty hearing people when they speak softly . A difficulty is also a problem : [C usually pl] In 1986 he experienced financial difficulties and was forced to sell his business .
(Definition of difficulty noun from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of difficulty

Browse related topics

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

Definitions of “difficulty” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


to pour liquid slowly over something, especially in a thin line or in small drops

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