1. A question to be considered, solved, or answered: math problems.
a. A situation, matter, or person that is hard to deal with or understand: was having problems breathing; considered the main problem to be his boss. See Usage Note at dilemma.
b. A personal matter that causes one difficulty or needs to be dealt with: felt her tyrannical boss had deep-seated problems.
3. A misgiving, objection, or complaint: I have a problem with his cynicism.
1. Difficult to deal with or control: a problem child.
2. Dealing with a moral or social problem: a problem play.
1. Used to express confirmation of or compliance with a request.
2. Used to acknowledge an expression of gratitude.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.