AskDefine | Define problem

Dictionary Definition

problem

Noun

1 a state of difficulty that needs to be resolved; "she and her husband are having problems"; "it is always a job to contact him"; "urban problems such as traffic congestion and smog" [syn: job]
2 a source of difficulty; "one trouble after another delayed the job"; "what's the problem?" [syn: trouble]
3 a question raised for consideration or solution; "our homework consisted of ten problems to solve"

User Contributed Dictionary

see Problem

English

Etymology

From πρόβλημα (problema) ‘anything thrown forward, hindrance, obstacle, anything projecting, a headland, promontory’, from προβάλλω (proballo) ‘to throw or lay something in front of someone, to put forward’, from prefix προ- (pro-) ‘in front of’ + βάλλω (ballo) ‘to throw, to cast, to hurl'.

Pronunciation

  • /pɹɒbləm/

Noun

  1. A difficulty that has to be resolved or dealt with
  2. A question to be answered, schoolwork exercise.
  3. A puzzling circumstance.

Translations

difficulty
  • Arabic:
  • Bosnian: problem
  • Breton: kudenn
  • Cebuano: kalisud
  • Chinese: 问题 (wèntí)
  • Croatian: problem
  • Czech: problém
  • Dutch: probleem
  • Esperanto: problemo
  • Estonian: probleem
  • Finnish: ongelma, probleemi (old slang)
  • French: problème
  • German: Problem
  • Greek: πρόβλημα (próvlima)
  • Hebrew: בעיה (b‘aya)
  • Hungarian: probléma, baj, gond
  • Italian: problema
  • Japanese: 問題 (もんだい, mondai)
  • Korean:
  • Latvian: problēma
  • Polish: problem, kłopot
  • Portuguese: problema
  • Russian: проблема
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: проблем
    Roman: problem
  • Spanish: problema
  • Swedish: problem
schoolwork exercise
puzzling circumstance
  • Bosnian: problem
  • Cebuano: problema
  • Croatian: problem
  • Dutch: probleem
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: проблем
    Roman: problem

See also

Bosnian

Noun

  1. problem

Declension

Croatian

Noun

  1. problem

Declension

Polish

Pronunciation

  • [ˈprɔblɛm]

Noun

  1. problem

Declension

Serbian

Noun

  1. problem

Declension

Swedish

Noun

  1. problem; difficulty
  2. problem; schoolwork exercise

Extensive Definition

A problem is an obstacle which makes it difficult to achieve a desired goal, objective or purpose. It refers to a situation, condition, or issue that is yet unresolved. In a broad sense, a problem exists when an individual becomes aware of a significant difference between what actually is and what is desired.

Etymology

From Ancient Greek πρόβλημα (próblēma) "anything thrown forward, hindrance, obstacle, anything projecting, a headland, promontory", from προβάλλω (probállō) "to throw or lay something in front of someone, to put forward", from prefix προ- (pro-) "in front of" + βάλλω (bállo) "to throw, to cast, to hurl".

Problem Solving

Every problem asks for an answer or solution. Trying to find a solution to a problem is known as problem solving. The time it takes to solve a problem is a way of measuring complexity. Many problems have no discovered solution and are therefore classified as an open problem.seealso List of unsolved problems
From the mid 20th century, the field of theoretical computer science has explored the use of computers to solve problems.

Examples

  • Mathematical problem is a question about mathematical objects and structures that may require a distinct answer or explanation or proof. Examples include word problems at school level or deeper problems such as shading a map with only four colours.
  • In society, a problem can refer to particular social issues, which if solved would yield social benefits, such as increased harmony or productivity, and conversely diminished hostility and disruption. seealso Wicked problem
  • In business and engineering, a problem is a difference between actual conditions and those that are required or desired. Often, the causes of a problem are not known, in which case root cause analysis is employed to find the causes and identify corrective actions.
  • In chess, a problem is a puzzle set by somebody using chess pieces on a chess board, for others to get instruction or intellectual satisfaction from determining the solution.
  • In theology, there is what is referred to as the Synoptic Problem, which includes in its discourse a concern for assumptions of historical accuracy that are challenged by apparent contradictions in the Gospels' accounts of allegedly historical events.
  • In academic discourse a problem is a challenge to an assumption, an apparent conflict that requires synthesis and reconciliation. It is a normal part of systematic thinking, the address of which adds to or detracts from the veracity of a conclusion or idea.
  • An optimization problem is finding the best solution from all feasible solutions. A good example of this type of problem is the travelling salesperson problem which is based on calculating the most efficient route between many places
  • In computability theory a decision problem requires a simple yes-or-no answer.
  • In rock climbing a problem is a series of climbing holds that forces the climber to plan and execute a certain maneuver.

References

problem in Czech: Problém
problem in Danish: Problem
problem in German: Problem
problem in Spanish: Problema
problem in Esperanto: Problemo
problem in French: Problème
problem in Ido: Problemo
problem in Italian: Problema
problem in Lithuanian: Problema
problem in Hungarian: Probléma
problem in Dutch: Probleem
problem in Japanese: 問題
problem in Polish: Sytuacja trudna
problem in Portuguese: Problema
problem in Romanian: Problemă
problem in Russian: Проблема
problem in Albanian: Problemi
problem in Simple English: Question
problem in Slovak: Problém
problem in Slovenian: Problem
problem in Swedish: Fråga
problem in Chinese: 问题

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Chinese puzzle, ado, aggravation, annoyance, anxiety, bad news, baffle, bafflement, baffling problem, basis, bedevilment, besetment, bewilderment, blemish, bone of contention, bore, bother, botheration, bothersomeness, brain twister, bug, bugaboo, bugbear, burden, can of worms, case, catch, catechism, chapter, complication, concern, confoundment, confusion, conundrum, count, crack, crashing bore, cross-interrogatory, cross-question, crossword puzzle, crux, debating point, defect, defection, deficiency, delinquent, demand, devilment, difficult, difficulty, dilemma, disadvantage, discomposure, disconcert, disconcertedness, disconcertion, disconcertment, disturbance, disturbed, dogging, downer, drag, drawback, embarrassment, enigma, enigmatic question, essence, evil, exasperation, facer, failing, failure, fault, faute, feeler, fix, flaw, floorer, focus of attention, focus of interest, foible, frailty, gist, great ado, harassment, harrying, head, headache, heading, hole, hounding, illustration, imbroglio, imperfection, inadequacy, inconvenience, incorrigible, infirmity, inquiry, interrogation, interrogative, interrogatory, intractable, issue, jam, jigsaw puzzle, kink, knot, knotty point, leader, leading question, little problem, living issue, main point, maladjusted, matter, matter in hand, meat, mess, mind-boggler, molestation, moot point, motif, motive, muddle, mystery, nonplus, nuisance, nut, nut to crack, obstreperous, peck of troubles, perplexed question, perplexity, persecution, perturbation, pest, pickle, plight, point, point at issue, point in question, poser, pother, predicament, pretty pickle, puzzle, puzzlement, puzzler, quandary, query, question, question at issue, question mark, quodlibet, refractory, riddle, rift, rubric, scrape, sea of troubles, shortcoming, sixty-four dollar question, snag, something missing, stew, sticker, stumper, subject, subject matter, subject of thought, substance, taint, text, theme, topic, tough proposition, trial, trial balloon, trouble, unassuredness, uncontrollable, ungovernable, unmanageable, unruly, upset, vexation, vexatiousness, vexed question, vulnerable place, weak link, weak point, weakness, why, worriment, worry
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