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Roget category 704

5. Words relating to the voluntary powers
5.4. Antagonism
›› 5.4.1. Conditional antagonism

#704. Difficulty


difficultyhardness etc. adj. — impracticability etc. (impossibility) 471tough work, hard work, uphill workhard task, Herculean task, Augean tasktask of Sisyphus, Sisyphean labor, tough job, teaser, rasper, dead lift.
dilemma, embarrassmentdeadlockperplexity etc. (uncertainty) 475intricacyentanglement, complexity etc. 59cross fireawkwardness, delicacy, ticklish card to play, knot, Gordian knot, dignus vindice nodus [Lat.], net, meshes, mazecoil etc. (convolution) 248crooked pathinvolvement.
nice point, delicate point, subtle point, knotty pointvexed question, vexata quaestio [Lat.], poserpuzzle etc. (riddle) 533paradoxhard nut to crack, nut to crackbone to pick, crux, pons asinorum [Lat.], where the shoe pinches.
nonplus, quandary, strait, pass, pinch, pretty pass, stress, bruntcritical situation, crisistrial, rub, emergency, exigency, scramble.
scrape, hobble, slough, quagmire, hot water, hornet's nestsea of troubles, peck of troublespretty kettle of fishpickle, stew, imbroglio, mess, adofalse position.
set fast, stand, standstilldeadlock, dead set.
fix, horns of a dilemma, cul de sac [Fr.]hitchstumbling block etc. (hindrance) 706.
[difficult person] crabcurmudgeon.


be difficult etc. adj. — run one hard, go against the grain, try one's patience, put one output to one's shifts, put to one's wit's endgo hard with one, try onepose, perplex etc. (uncertain) 475bother, nonplus, gravel, bring to a deadlockbe impossible etc. 471be in the way of etc. (hinder) 706.
meet with difficultieslabor under difficultiesget into difficultiesplunge into difficulties struggle with difficultiescontend with difficultiesgrapple with difficultieslabor under a disadvantagebe in difficulty etc. 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 itcome to the push, come to the pinchbear the brunt.
grope in the dark, lose one's way, weave a tangled web, walk among eggs.
get into a scrape etc. n. — bring a hornet's nest about one's earsbe put to one's shiftsflounder, boggle, strugglenot know which way to turn etc. (uncertain) 475perdre son Latin [Fr.]stick at, stick in the mud, stick fastcome to a stand, come to a standstill, come to a deadlockhold the wolf by the ears, hold the tiger by the tail.
render difficult etc. adj. — enmesh, encumber, embarrass, ravel, entangleput a spoke in the wheel etc. (hinder) 706lead a pretty dance.


difficult, not easy, hard, toughtroublesome, toilsome, irksomeoperose, laborious, onerous, arduous, Herculean, formidablesooner said than donemore easily said than done, easier said than done.
difficult to deal with, hard to deal withill-conditioned, crabbed, crabbynot to be handled with kid gloves, not made with rose water.
awkward, unwieldy, unmanageableintractable, stubborn etc. (obstinate) 606perverse, refractory, plaguy, trying, thorny, ruggedknotted, knottyinviouspathless, tracklesslabyrinthine etc. (convoluted) 248intricate, complicated etc. (tangled) 59impracticable etc. (impossible) 471not feasible etc. 470desperate etc. (hopeless) 859.
embarrassing, perplexing etc. (uncertain) 475delicate, ticklish, criticalbeset with difficulties, full of difficulties, surrounded by difficulties, entangled by difficulties, encompassed with difficulties.
under a difficultyin a boxin difficulty, in hot water, in the suds, in a cleft stick, in a fix, in the wrong box, in a scrape etc. n., in deep water, in a fine picklein extremis between two stools, between Scylla and Charybdissurrounded by shoals, surrounded by breakers, surrounded by quicksandsat cross purposesnot out of the wood.
reduced to straitshard pressed, sorely pressedrun hardpinched, put to it, straitenedhard up, hard put to it, hard setput to one's shiftspuzzled, at a loss, etc. (uncertain) 475at the end of one's tether, at the end of one's rope, at one's wit's end, at a nonplus, at a standstillgraveled, nonplused, nonplussed, stranded, agroundstuck fast, set fastup 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 wallau bout de son Latinout of one's depththrown out.
accomplished with difficultyhard-fought, hard-earned.


with difficulty, with much adobarely, hardly etc. adj. — uphillagainst the stream, against the graind rebours [Fr.]invita Minerva [Lat.]in the teeth ofat a pinch, upon a pinchat long odds, against long odds.


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.].

The content on this page comes straight from Project Gutenberg Etext of Roget's Thesaurus No. Two, which consists of the acclaimed work by Peter Mark Roget augmented with more recent material. Some changes were made to the formatting for improved readability.

Bold numbers signify related Roget categories. A dagger symbol (†) indicates archaic words and expressions no longer in common use.

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