Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “problem”

problem

noun [C] uk   /ˈprɒb.ləm/ us    /ˈprɑː.bləm/
A1 a situation, person, or thing that needs attention and needs to be dealt with or solved: financial/health problems Our main problem is lack of cash. I'm having problems with my computer. No one has solved the problem of what to do with radioactive waste. The very high rate of inflation poses/presents (= is) a serious problem for the government. When is the government going to tackle (= deal with) the problem of poverty in the inner cities? [+ -ing verb] Did you have any problems (= difficulties) getting here? I'd love to come - the only problem is I've got friends staying that night. a question in mathematics that needs an answer: We were given ten problems to solve. problem child, family, etc. a child, etc. whose behaviour is bad
(Definition of problem from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of problem?
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:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “problem” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

fairy

an imaginary creature with magic powers, usually represented as a very small person with wings

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford​,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More