20 Ways To Say “Difficult”

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Language is rich with synonyms that add variety and precision to our descriptions. When something is hard to do, describing it merely as “difficult” might not fully capture the essence of the challenge. Whether you’re writing, speaking, or trying to enhance your vocabulary, knowing different ways to express the concept of difficulty can be incredibly useful. This blog post explores 20 alternative expressions to “difficult,” each with a brief definition and a simple example to help you understand and use these terms effectively.

Ways To Say Difficult

1. Challenging

Meaning: Requires significant effort or skill.

Example: The puzzle was challenging.

2. Tough

Meaning: Physically or mentally demanding.

Example: It’s a tough job.

3. Complicated

Meaning: Not simple, involving many parts.

Example: The instructions were complicated.

4. Arduous

Meaning: Involving a lot of effort and energy.

Example: Climbing the mountain was arduous.

5. Tricky

Meaning: Difficult to deal with or understand.

Example: The negotiation was tricky.

6. Daunting

Meaning: Intimidating or disheartening.

Example: The task ahead is daunting.

7. Laborious

Meaning: Requiring considerable time and effort.

Example: Writing the book was laborious.

8. Taxing

Meaning: Physically or mentally demanding.

Example: The project was taxing.

9. Demanding

Meaning: Requiring much skill or effort.

Example: The role is very demanding.

10. Grueling

Meaning: Extremely tiring and demanding.

Example: The training was grueling.

11. Onerous

Meaning: Burdensome or heavy.

Example: The responsibilities are onerous.

12. Thorough

Meaning: Done with great attention to detail.

Example: The review process is thorough.

13. Rigorous

Meaning: Extremely thorough and careful.

Example: The exam was rigorous.

14. Herculean

Meaning: Requiring great strength or effort.

Example: It was a Herculean task.

15. Intricate

Meaning: Very detailed or complicated.

Example: The design is intricate.

16. Strenuous

Meaning: Requiring a lot of energy and stamina.

Example: The hike was strenuous.

17. Harsh

Meaning: Extremely unkind or difficult.

Example: The conditions were harsh.

18. Formidable

Meaning: Inspiring fear or respect through being powerful.

Example: A formidable opponent.

19. Exhausting

Meaning: Making you feel extremely tired.

Example: The schedule was exhausting.

20. Intense

Meaning: Very strong; very great.

Example: The course was intense.

Ways To Say Difficult


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