problem - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    something that causes trouble or difficulty

    a major cause of traffic problems in the city

    problem of:

    the problem of unemployment

    problem for:

    Homelessness is a serious problem for a lot of young people.

    have problems with:

    We’ve been having problems with the heating in the office.

    solve a problem:

    That still doesn’t solve our problem.

    cause someone a problem/cause a problem for someone:

    The continuing bad weather is causing serious problems for farmers.

    pose (=be) a problem (for someone/something):

    Racial tensions in the south of the city pose a real problem for the police.

    the (only) problem is (that):

    They’re the best cameras on the market. The only problem is they’re incredibly expensive.

    1. a.
      something that has a bad effect on someone’s health or behaviour

      a drug/alcohol problem

    2. b.
      [only before noun] experiencing a lot of difficulties in life, or causing difficulties for other people

      a problem child/family