dif·fi·cult / ˈdifikəlt/ • adj. needing much effort or skill to accomplish, deal with, or understand: she had a difficult decision to make the questions are too difficult for the children. ∎ characterized by or causing hardships or problems: a difficult economic climate. ∎ (of a person) not easy to please or satisfy: Lily could be difficult.DERIVATIVES: dif·fi·cult·ly adv. ( rare )dif·fi·cult·ness n.