Roget's Thesaurus: Entry 704 (Difficulty)

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#704. Difficulty. -- N. difficulty; hardness &c. adj.; impracticability &c. (impossibility) 471; tough work, hard work, uphill work; hard task, Herculean task, Augean task[obs]; task of Sisyphus, Sisyphean labor, tough job, teaser, rasper[obs], dead lift.

dilemma, embarrassment; deadlock; perplexity &c. (uncertainty) 475; intricacy; entanglement, complexity &c. 59; cross fire; awkwardness, delicacy, ticklish card to play, knot, Gordian knot, dignus vindice nodus[Lat], net, meshes, maze; coil &c. (convolution) 248; crooked path; involvement.

nice point, delicate point, subtle point, knotty point; vexed question, vexata quaestio[Lat], poser; puzzle &c. (riddle) 533; paradox; hard nut to crack, nut to crack; bone to pick, crux, pons asinorum[Lat], where the shoe pinches.

nonplus, quandary, strait, pass, pinch, pretty pass, stress, brunt; critical situation, crisis; trial, rub, emergency, exigency, scramble.

scrape, hobble, slough, quagmire, hot water, hornet's nest; sea of troubles, peck of troubles; pretty kettle of fish; pickle, stew, imbroglio, mess, ado; false position.

set fast, stand, standstill; deadlock, dead set.

fix, horns of a dilemma, cul de sac[Fr]; hitch; stumbling block &c (hindrance) 706.

[difficult person] crab; curmudgeon.

V. be difficult &c. adj.; run one hard, go against the grain, try one's patience, put one out; put to one's shifts, put to one's wit's end; go hard with one, try one; pose, perplex &c. (uncertain) 475; bother, nonplus, gravel, bring to a deadlock; be impossible &c. 471; be in the way of &c (hinder) 706.

meet with difficulties; labor under difficulties; get into difficulties; plunge into difficulties; struggle with difficulties; contend with difficulties; grapple with difficulties; labor under a disadvantage; be in difficulty &c. adj.

fish in troubled waters, buffet the waves, swim against the stream, scud under bare poles.

Have much ado with, have a hard time of it; come to the push, come to the pinch; bear the brunt.

grope in the dark, lose one's way, weave a tangled web, walk among eggs.

get into a scrape &c. n.; bring a hornet's nest about one's ears; be put to one's shifts; flounder, boggle, struggle; not know which way to turn &c. (uncertain) 475; perdre son Latin[Fr]; stick at, stick in the mud, stick fast; come to a stand, come to a standstill, come to a deadlock; hold the wolf by the ears, hold the tiger by the tail.

render difficult &c. adj.; enmesh, encumber, embarrass, ravel, entangle; put a spoke in the wheel &c. (hinder) 706; lead a pretty dance.

Adj. difficult, not easy, hard, tough; troublesome, toilsome, irksome; operose[obs], laborious, onerous, arduous, Herculean, formidable; sooner said than done; more easily said than done, easier said than done.

[pertaining to person's disposition sensu 802] difficult to deal with, hard to deal with; ill-conditioned, crabbed, crabby; not to be handled with kid gloves, not made with rose water.

awkward, unwieldy, unmanageable; intractable, stubborn &c. (obstinate) 606; perverse, refractory, plaguy[obs], trying, thorny, rugged; knotted, knotty; invious|; pathless, trackless; labyrinthine &c (convoluted) 248; intricate, complicated &c (tangled) 59; impracticable &c. (impossible) 471; not feasible &c. 470; desperate &c. (hopeless) 859.

embarrassing, perplexing &c. (uncertain) 475; delicate, ticklish, critical; beset with difficulties, full of difficulties, surrounded by difficulties, entangled by difficulties, encompassed with difficulties.

under a difficulty; in a box; in difficulty, in hot water, in the suds, in a cleft stick, in a fix, in the wrong box, in a scrape &c.n., in deep water, in a fine pickle; in extremis; between two stools, between Scylla and Charybdis; surrounded by shoals, surrounded by breakers, surrounded by quicksands; at cross purposes; not out of the wood.

reduced to straits; hard pressed, sorely pressed; run hard; pinched, put to it, straitened; hard up, hard put to it, hard set; put to one's shifts; puzzled, at a loss, &c (uncertain) 475; at the end of one's tether, at the end of one's rope, at one's wit's end, at a nonplus, at a standstill; graveled, nonplused, nonplussed, stranded, aground; stuck fast, set fast; up a tree, at bay, aux abois[Fr], driven into a corner, driven from pillar to post, driven to extremity, driven to one's wit's end, driven to the wall; au bout de son Latin; out of one's depth; thrown out.

accomplished with difficulty; hard-fought, hard-earned.

Adv. with difficulty, with much ado; barely, hardly &c. adj.; uphill; against the stream, against the grain; d rebours[Fr]; invita Minerva[Lat]; in the teeth of; at a pinch, upon a pinch; at long odds, against long odds.

Phr. "ay there's the rub" [Hamlet]; hic labor hoc opus [Lat][Vergil]; things are come to a pretty pass, ab inconvenienti[Lat]; ad astra per aspera[Lat]; acun chemin de fleurs ne conduit a la gloire[Fr].