Difficult vs Tricky - What's the difference?

difficult | tricky |

As adjectives the difference between difficult and tricky

is that difficult is hard, not easy, requiring much effort while tricky is hard to deal with, complicated.

As a verb difficult

is (obsolete|transitive) to make difficult; to impede; to perplex.




(en adjective)
  • Hard, not easy, requiring much effort.
  • * (Nathaniel Hawthorne) (1804-1864)
  • There is not the strength or courage left me to venture into the wide, strange, and difficult world, alone.
  • * 2008 , Daniel Goleman, Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama (ISBN 0307483762), page 199:
  • In adults, the same kind of anger has been studied in people trying to solve a very difficult math problem. Though the tough math problem is very frustrating, there is an active attempt to solve the problem and meet the goal.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-03, volume=408, issue=8847, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Boundary problems , passage=Economics is a messy discipline: too fluid to be a science, too rigorous to be an art. Perhaps it is fitting that economists’ most-used metric, gross domestic product (GDP), is a tangle too.
  • Hard to manage, uncooperative, troublesome.
  • Usage notes

    Difficult'' implies that considerable mental effort or physical skill is required, or that obstacles are to be overcome which call for sagacity and skill in the doer; as, a ''difficult'' task. Thus, "hard" is not always synonymous with difficult: Other examples include ''a ''difficult'' operation in surgery'' and ''a ''difficult'' passage by an author (that is, a passage which is hard to understand).


    * burdensome, cumbersome, hard * see also

    Derived terms

    * difficultly


    (en verb)
  • (obsolete) To make difficult; to impede; to perplex.
  • Statistics





  • hard to deal with, complicated
  • They were in a tricky situation.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2012 , date=September 15 , author=Amy Lawrence , title=Arsenal's Gervinho enjoys the joy of six against lowly Southampton , work=the Guardian citation , page= , passage=It was as comfortable an afternoon as Arsène Wenger could have wished for in a situation that can be tricky in between internationals and the upcoming Champions League. }}
  • adept at using deception
  • A tricky salesman can sell anything.

    See also

    * sneaky