Definition of “difficulty” - English Dictionary


“difficulty” in English

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uk /ˈdɪf.ɪ.kəl.ti/ us /ˈdɪf.ə.kəl.t̬i/

B1 [ U ] the fact of not being easy to do or understand:

We finished the job, but only with great difficulty.
The difficulty of the task excited them.
[ + -ing verb ] She had great difficulty finding a job.
UK People with asthma have difficulty in breathing.

B2 [ C ] a problem:

to have financial/personal difficulties
children with learning difficulties
People learning a new language often encounter some difficulties at first.
An unforeseen difficulty has arisen.
be in difficulties UK US be in difficulty

to have problems or be in a difficult situation:

A ship is in difficulties off the coast of Ireland.

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

“difficulty” in American English

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difficultynoun [ C/U ]

us /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” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)