ADJ. considerable, enormous, grave, great, major, real, serious, severe We had enormous difficulty in getting hold of the right equipment. | insurmountable | increasing questions of increasing difficulty | inherent the difficulties inherent in treating overdose patients | particular, special English spelling presents special difficulties for foreign learners. | economic, financial | practical, technical I think we've managed to overcome most of the practical difficulties. | behavioural, emotional, learning children with learning difficulties
QUANT. level The games have various different levels of difficulty.
VERB + DIFFICULTY encounter, experience, face, get into, have, run into Among the difficulties encountered was a lack of cooperation on the part of the authorities. Anyone experiencing difficulty with radio reception should call us on the new helpline. Let me know if you have any difficulties. I had little difficulty in persuading the others to come. The scheme has run into serious difficulties. | cause, create, make, present Will it cause any difficulties if I go early? She is always making difficulties for herself. | cope with, deal with, overcome, resolve, solve, surmount | avoid how to avoid technical difficulties | be fraught with The situation was fraught with difficulty.
DIFFICULTY + VERB arise, crop up Difficulties arise when people fail to consult their colleagues. | lie (in sth) The difficulty lies in identifying the precise nature of the problem.
PREP. despite a/the ~ Despite all the difficulties, he still remains optimistic. | in ~ We could see that the swimmer was in difficulties. | with/without ~ We crossed the border without any difficulty. Life in the city was not without its difficulties. | ~ in She had difficulty in starting her car. | ~ of the difficulty of finding affordable accommodation | ~ with having difficulty with the engine