difficult (adj.)

c. 1400, "not easy, requiring or dependent on effort; troublesome, arduous," apparently an unetymological back-formation from difficulty. French has difficile, Latin difficilis. Of persons, "hard to please," from 1580s. Related: Difficultly.

Origin and meaning of difficult

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Definitions of difficult from WordNet

difficult (adj.)
not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure;
a difficult task
nesting places on the cliffs are difficult of access
difficult times
Synonyms: hard
difficult (adj.)
hard to control;
a difficult child
Synonyms: unmanageable