Synonym for Difficulty — Definition, Antonyms, and Examples

Life is full of struggles. Great things don’t come easy,…

Life is full of struggles. Great things don’t come easy, and easy things aren’t always great. “Difficulty” is a word that describes the conditions that force you to put more effort toward a goal. A common synonym for difficulty is “trouble.”

Let’s delve deeper into the meaning of the word to understand what words can qualify as synonyms and antonyms.

Two Spartan Race participants jumping over burning coal together.
Photo by Marc Rafanell López on Unsplash

Definition of Difficulty

According to the English dictionary, “difficulty” is the state or quality of being difficult. It also refers to the manner in which an action is performed. It usually relates to a serious struggle.

Sentence Examples:

  • Even when things are hard, we are fully equipped to overcome any difficulty.
  • He had difficulty breathing because of his heart condition.
  • Allen is a skilled player. He has little difficulty winning against his opponents.
  • Inclement weather is a difficulty seasoned hikers are able to overcome.

Synonyms of Difficulty – Exploring Words with Similar Meanings

The main idea behind a difficulty is that it is something that makes a task more difficult to achieve. It represents any condition that may hinder you from meeting a goal. Here are some related terms to “difficulty” from the thesaurus. 

Hardship

This noun refers to a difficult situation, usually one caused by external factors. It focuses on the inherent difficulty posed by something.

For example:

  • The quest to bring the ring to Mount Doom was wrought with hardships.
  • The people of the North were tempered and toughened by hardship.

Adversity

Adversity is different from difficulty in that adversity refers to something that is actively preventing you from achieving a goal. Difficulty refers to something that is inherently challenging.

For example:

  • The Board of Members’ refusal to cooperate presented adversity that slowed the investigation.
  • He showed up at the meeting despite the adversity he would face from other partners.

Complication

A complication refers to factors that make a problem more elaborate (thus requiring more effort to solve.) 

For example:

  • His heart complications made the surgery more dangerous.
  • The fact that my client lied on the stand presented major complications to his defense.

Dilemma

A dilemma is a problem that forces you to make a tough decision between two choices. It focuses on the difficulty of choosing one thing over another.

For example:

  • His dilemma forced him to choose between his family and his career.
  •  My dilemma is that I don’t know what university to choose.

Antonyms – Exploring Words with Opposite Meanings

The spirit behind the word “difficulty” is the greater effort required to accomplish something. Anything that makes a task easier can serve as an antonym for “difficulty.” Here are some examples: 

Advantage

An advantage refers to the ability, trait, or scenario that helps you attain a task. 

For example:

  • Rick had a speed advantage. He was more nimble and agile than Tom.
  • The enemy is weak. Let’s press our advantage!

Solution

This noun refers to a specific course of action to overcome a problem. It usually leads to the conclusion of a task.

For example:

  • He found the solution to the math problem.
  • Snow tires are the solution to snowy roads.

Assistance

Assistance refers to the act of helping someone resolve a problem. 

For example:

  • We provide roadside assistance to drivers whose cars have broken down on the highway.
  • May I ask for your assistance with the machine, please? 

Takeaway

Even when the English language is rich and diverse, many people have difficulty finding words that represent their exact ideas. The trick is to practice using the words you encounter. If you have spare time, you might also want to check out our guides on other words.

Synonym for Difficulty — Definition, Antonyms, and Examples

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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