Etymology
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difficulty (n.)

late 14c., "want of easiness, that quality which makes something laborious or perplexing," from Anglo-French difficulté and directly from Latin difficultatem (nominative difficultas) "difficulty, distress, poverty," from difficilis "hard," from dis- "not, away from" (see dis-) + facilis "easy to do," from facere "to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). From 1610s as "that which is difficult." Related: Difficulties.

Origin and meaning of difficulty

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Definitions of difficulty

difficulty (n.)
an effort that is inconvenient;
finished the test only with great difficulty
had difficulty walking
Synonyms: trouble
difficulty (n.)
a factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result;
difficulty (n.)
a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome;
difficulty (n.)
the quality of being difficult;
they agreed about the difficulty of the climb
Synonyms: difficultness
From wordnet.princeton.edu