Synonyms for (adjective) difficult

Synonyms: difficult, hard

Definition: not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure

Usage: a difficult task; nesting places on the cliffs are difficult of access; difficult times; why is it so hard for you to keep a secret?

Similar words: challenging, ambitious

Definition: requiring full use of your abilities or resources

Usage: ambitious schedule; performed the most challenging task without a mistake


Similar words: arduous

Definition: difficult to accomplish; demanding considerable mental effort and skill

Usage: the arduous work of preparing a dictionary


Similar words: awkward, unenviable, sticky, embarrassing

Definition: hard to deal with; especially causing pain or embarrassment

Usage: awkward (or embarrassing or difficult) moments in the discussion; an awkward pause followed his remark; a sticky question; in the unenviable position of resorting to an act he had planned to save for the climax of the campaign


Similar words: elusive, tough, baffling, problematic, problematical, knotty

Definition: making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe

Usage: a baffling problem; I faced the knotty problem of what to have for breakfast; a problematic situation at home


Similar words: tricky, catchy

Definition: having concealed difficulty

Usage: a catchy question; a tricky recipe to follow


Similar words: delicate, touchy, ticklish

Definition: difficult to handle; requiring great tact

Usage: delicate negotiations with the big powers; hesitates to be explicit on so ticklish a matter; a touchy subject


Similar words: fractious

Definition: unpredictably difficult in operation; likely to be troublesome

Usage: rockets were much too fractious to be tested near thickly populated areas; fractious components of a communication system


Similar words: hard-fought

Definition: requiring great effort

Usage: a hard-fought primary


Similar words: herculean

Definition: extremely difficult; requiring the strength of a Hercules

Usage: a herculean task


Similar words: nasty, tight

Definition: exasperatingly difficult to handle or circumvent

Usage: a nasty problem; a good man to have on your side in a tight situation


Similar words: rough, rocky

Definition: full of hardship or trials

Usage: the rocky road to success; they were having a rough time


Similar words: tough, rugged

Definition: very difficult; severely testing stamina or resolution

Usage: a rugged competitive examination; the rugged conditions of frontier life; the competition was tough; it's a tough life; it was a tough job


Similar words: serious

Definition: requiring effort or concentration; complex and not easy to answer or solve

Usage: raised serious objections to the proposal; the plan has a serious flaw


Similar words: tall

Definition: impressively difficult

Usage: a tall order


Similar words: thorny

Definition: bristling with perplexities

Usage: the thorny question of states' rights


Similar words: troublesome

Definition: difficult to deal with

Usage: a troublesome infection; a troublesome situation


Similar words: trying

Definition: hard to endure

Usage: fell upon trying times


Similar words: vexed

Definition: causing difficulty in finding an answer or solution; much disputed

Usage: the vexed issue of priorities; we live in vexed and troubled times


Synonyms: unmanageable, difficult

Definition: hard to control

Usage: a difficult child, an unmanageable situation

Similar words: uncontrollable, ungovernable, unruly, indocile

Definition: of persons

Usage: the little boy's parents think he is spirited, but his teacher finds him unruly


Similar words: uncheckable

Definition: incapable of being checked or restrained