difficulty

Definitions

  • Supper Under Difficulties 115
    Supper Under Difficulties 115
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n difficulty an effort that is inconvenient "I went to a lot of trouble","he won without any trouble","had difficulty walking","finished the test only with great difficulty"
    • n difficulty the quality of being difficult "they agreed about the difficulty of the climb"
    • n difficulty a factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result "serious difficulties were encountered in obtaining a pure reagent"
    • n difficulty a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome "grappling with financial difficulties"
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Difficulties of the Adirondack trail Difficulties of the Adirondack trail
Our racing correspondent writes that Mr. LLOYD GEORGE is having some difficulty with his string Our racing correspondent writes that Mr. LLOYD GEORGE is having some difficulty with his string

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A ear trumpet was used before the hearing aid was invented by people who had difficulty hearing
    • Difficulty A controversy; a falling out; a disagreement; an objection; a cavil. "Measures for terminating all local difficulties ."
    • Difficulty Embarrassment of affairs, especially financial affairs; -- usually in the plural; as, to be in difficulties . "In days of difficulty and pressure."
    • Difficulty Something difficult; a thing hard to do or to understand; that which occasions labor or perplexity, and requires skill and perseverance to overcome, solve, or achieve; a hard enterprise; an obstacle; an impediment; as, the difficulties of a science; difficulties in theology. "They lie under some difficulties by reason of the emperor's displeasure."
    • Difficulty The state of being difficult, or hard to do; hardness; arduousness; -- opposed to easiness or facility; as, the difficulty of a task or enterprise; a work of difficulty. "Not being able to promote them [the interests of life] on account of the difficulty of the region."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Spiral staircases in medieval castles are running clockwise. This is because all knights used to be right-handed. When the intruding army would climb the stairs they would not be able to use their right hand which was holding the sword because of the difficulties of climbing the stairs. Left-handed knights would have had no troubles, except left-handed people could never become knights because it was assumed that they were descendants of the devil
    • n difficulty Want of easiness or facility; hindrance to the doing of something; hardness to be accomplished or overcome; the character or condition of an undertaking which renders its performance laborious or perplexing: opposed to facility: as, a work of labor and difficulty.
    • n difficulty That which is hard to accomplish or to surmount: as, to mistake difficulties for impossibilities.
    • n difficulty Perplexity; complication or embarrassment of affairs, especially of pecuniary affairs; trouble; dilemma; whatever renders action or progress laborious or painful: as, a gentleman in difficulties.
    • n difficulty Objection; cavil; obstruction to belief or consent.
    • n difficulty An embroilment; a serious complication of feeling or opinion; a falling out; a variance or quarrel.
    • n difficulty Synonyms Laboriousness, troublesomeness, arduousness.
    • n difficulty Obstruction, Impediment, etc.(seeobstacle), hindrance.
    • n difficulty Distress, exigency, trial, emergency, pinch.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Difficulty laboriousness: obstacle: objection: that which cannot be easily understood or believed: embarrassment of affairs: a quarrel
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Quotations

  • Epictetus
    Epictetus
    “The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    Johann%20Wolfgang%20Von%20Goethe
    “The greatest difficulties lie where we are not looking for them.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “We are made strong by the difficulties we face not by those we evade.”
  • Winston Churchill
    Winston%20Churchill
    “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.”
  • Albert Einstein
    Albert%20Einstein
    “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
  • Epictetus
    Epictetus
    “Difficulties are things that show a person what they are.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. difficultas, fr. difficilis, difficult; dif-, = dis-, + facilis, easy: cf. F. difficulté,. See Facile
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
The adj. was formed from difficulty, in place of the old form difficile. Fr. difficulté—L. difficultas = difficilitasdifficilisdif (= dis), neg., and facilis, easy.

Usage

In literature:

Unfortunately, you see, there is always a difficulty with adopted children.
"The Dash for Khartoum" by George Alfred Henty
Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt, as I understand the subject; difficulty and doubt are incommensurate.
"Apologia Pro Vita Sua" by John Henry Cardinal Newman
He had no difficulty in letting his poor customers know of his charitable designs, and he soon had as much work as he could do.
"The Golden Shoemaker" by J. W. Keyworth
Proper way of meeting difficulties.
"The Teacher" by Jacob Abbott
The older generation has worked at great disadvantage owing to the difficulty of obtaining proper education.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
With the queen there would be no difficulty; with the council it was far otherwise.
"The Reign of Mary Tudor" by James Anthony Froude
Long before having arrived at this part of my work, a crowd of difficulties will have occurred to the reader.
"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" by Charles Darwin
Though I have mentioned glass nozzles for the air supply, there is no difficulty in making nozzles of brass.
"On Laboratory Arts" by Richard Threlfall
Lord Reginald, however, knew the road, and there was light enough from the stars to enable them to see it without difficulty.
"The Rival Crusoes" by W.H.G. Kingston
How to convince him of this seemed a difficulty.
"A Voyage round the World" by W.H.G. Kingston
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In poetry:

What do you say? How, you
Betrayed the shadow of a wish for Recha,
And he did not spring up for joy, drew back,
Drew coldly back, made difficulties?
"Nathan The Wise - Act III" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Screamed for the angel, screamed without restraint.
The angel, trailing glory from above,
Arrived, was there, and then contrived to shove
The difficulties back into the saint.
"The Temptation Of St. Anthony" by Rainer Maria Rilke
BUT. (looking down hatchway).
But, tell me — who's the youth whose faltering feet
With difficulty bear him on his course?
BOAT. That is the smartest lad in all the fleet—
Ralph Rackstraw!
"HMS Pinafore: Act I" by William Schwenck Gilbert
The ill-fated "Oscar," however, sent a boat ashore
For some of her crew that were absent, while the angry sea did roar,
And 'twas with great difficulty the men got aboard,
And to make the ship allright they wrought with one accord.
"The Wreck of the Whaler 'Oscar'" by William Topaz McGonagall
NO words of mine, no language can express
The monarch's joy his child to re-possess;
And, since the difficulty I perceive,
I'll imitate old Sol's retreat at eve,
Who falls with such rapidity of view,
He seems to plunge, dame Thetis to pursue.
"The Princess Betrothed To The King Of Garba" by Jean de La Fontaine
Wow, man, your in an awfu' mess; what outget sall ye hae?
The hill Difficulty's afore, an' ye maun speel the brae;
Ye'll naither pay, nor fecht, nor 'gree, but wow your gude o' bragging—
Far better cut the finger aff than aye tae hae it wagging.
"Advice Tae Brither Jonathan" by Janet Hamilton

In news:

I'm having difficulty spotting pigment -printed fabrics.
Good dirt road all the way Difficulty.
Know your setup – including the chemical processes involved – and you'll save yourself a lot of unnecessary difficulties.
Part of the difficulty for plover conservationists is the way the plovers reproduce.
Paint Township supervisor says roads will be plowed despite financial difficulties.
For all the difficulty protecting nuclear reactors, safeguarding nuclear weapons facilities has proved no easier.
DISORDERLY CONDUCT, SOLON ROAD: Two women fighting in front of the police department were arrested on the afternoon of Nov 25, albeit with some difficulty.
One of the reasons that political science is such an inexact discipline is the difficulty of experimentation.
Pupils with learning difficulties face a postcode lottery when it comes to waiting times for assessment by educational psychologists.
Monitoring their changes through time is important but fraught with difficulties.
Judge Edward Burmila hailed as a legal scholar skilled at handling difficulties.
A major hurdle in the prevention of suicide in schizophrenia is the difficulty in evaluating the risk of suicidal behaviors.
The VetJobs/ PSI Online Job Fair has been extended to Nov 23 due to difficulties presented by Hurricane Sandy.
TICONDEROGA Fort Ticonderoga is asking the public to help bail it out of financial difficulty.
Initially the appeal detailed the forts financial difficulties.
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In science:

Insufficient consideration of these circumstances (i.e. actual, experimental, space and time measurements) lies at the root of the difficulties which the electrodynamics of moving bodies at present encounters.
The physics of space and time II: A reassessment of Einstein's 1905 special relativity paper
An additional difficulty arises from the inability to unambiguously distinguish surface versus intracellularly located labels.
Multiple Routes for Glutamate Receptor Trafficking: Surface Diffusion and Membrane Traffic Cooperate to Bring Receptors to Synapses
At lower energies, it may be possible overcome these difficulties of using scaling FFAGs.
Accelerator design concept for future neutrino facilities
Chi et al. (1994) further suggested that the major barrier to conceptual change relates to the difficulty in making the shift between two distinct ontological categories. (Lee & Law, 2001, p. 112).
The Case for Dynamic Models of Learners' Ontologies in Physics
If we apply the principles of Halstead’s difficulty (Halstead, 1977) to a spreadsheet formula, the complexity becomes apparent as this method breaks down formulae into operands and operators thus providing us with the concepts used in an argument (Thorne et al., 2004).
Exploring Human Factors in Spreadsheet Development
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