Meaning of “difficult” in the English Dictionary


"difficult" in English

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uk /ˈdɪf.ɪ.kəlt/ us /ˈdɪf.ə.kəlt/

A1 needing skill or effort:

[ + to infinitive ] It will be very difficult to prove that they are guilty.
Many things make it difficult for women to reach the top in US business.
[ + -ing verb ] It is extremely difficult being a single parent.

B1 not friendly, easy to deal with, or behaving well:

[ + to infinitive ] The manager is difficult to deal with/a difficult person to deal with.
His wife is a very difficult woman.
mainly UK Please children, don't be so difficult!

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(Definition of “difficult” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"difficult" in American English

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us /ˈdɪf·ɪ·kəlt, -ˌkʌlt/

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)