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Difficult situations and experiences - thesaurus

Synonyms

crisis

noun

an urgent, difficult, or dangerous situation

battle

noun

a situation in which someone is trying very hard to deal with a difficult situation

nightmare

noun

an extremely difficult or frightening situation

ordeal

noun

an extremely unpleasant experience, especially one that lasts for a long time

trouble

noun

an unpleasant, difficult, or dangerous situation

hell

noun

a situation that is extremely unpleasant

tragedy

noun

a bad situation that makes people very upset or angry

quagmire

noun

a situation that is so difficult or complicated that you cannot make much progress

worst-case scenario

a situation that is the worst one that you can imagine

stress

noun

a situation that makes you feel stress

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More synonyms

a bad/poor lookout (for)

a bad or unpleasant situation that is likely to happen to someone or something

a baptism of fire

a very difficult first period in a new job, activity, or situation

a bitter pill (to swallow)

an unpleasant fact or situation that is difficult to accept

a can of worms

a situation that involves a complicated set of problems that you discover when you start dealing with it

a fate worse than death

something very bad that could happen to you

a nasty business

a situation that is unpleasant or upsetting, especially one that is unfair or involves violence

a thin time

a difficult time, especially because there is not much money available

a tight corner/spot/situation

a difficult situation

bad hair day

noun

informal a difficult day when nothing seems to go well for you

balls-up

noun

Britishimpolite a mistake, or a difficult situation caused by mistakes that someone has made

bitch

noun

very informal something difficult or unpleasant

bitter pill

noun

an unpleasant fact or situation that is difficult to accept

black hole

noun

informal a situation in which there is a lot of sadness and very little hope

carnage

noun

mainly journalism a situation that is difficult or full of problems

catch-22 situation

noun

a set of problems that is impossible to escape from because each problem must be solved first before you can solve any of the others

corner

noun

a difficult situation that you cannot easily escape from

crunch

noun

mainly Americaninformal a situation that is very difficult because you do not have enough of something, especially time or money

cul-de-sac

noun

a situation in which you can make no more progress or from which you cannot escape

curse

noun

an unpleasant situation or influence that continues for a long time

dead end

noun

a situation in which no further progress is possible

deadlock

noun

a situation in which neither person or group involved in a disagreement is willing to change their opinions or position

the depths of something

the most severe part of an unpleasant time, feeling, or situation

dilemma

noun

a situation in which you have to make a difficult decision

discomfort

noun

something that makes you feel slightly ill or uncomfortable

distress

noun

an unpleasant and difficult situation caused by a lack of money, food, or other basic things

the doldrums

noun

a situation in which there is a lack of success, activity, or improvement

double bind

noun

a difficult situation in which you have two choices, but each one will have a bad result

double whammy

noun

mainly journalism a set of two bad events or situations that have an effect at the same time

easy/rough ride

a period of time when you experience no problems/a lot of problems

entanglement

noun

a complicated situation or relationship

fate

noun

the things that happen to someone, especially unpleasant things

feast or famine

a situation in which there is either far too much of something or not nearly enough of it

fix

noun

informal a difficult situation or a big problem

gridlock

noun

a situation in which it is impossible to make progress

hardship

noun

a situation in which life is very difficult, usually because you do not have enough money

hell on earth

an extremely unpleasant situation or place

horror

noun

the horror of an experience is how unpleasant it is

horror story

noun

informal an unpleasant experience

the hot seat

noun

informal a difficult position in which you are responsible for decisions and problems that may make many people angry

imbroglio

noun

formal a difficult, complicated, or embarrassing situation

impasse

noun

a situation in which progress is not possible because none of the people involved are willing to change their opinion or decision

imposition

noun

an unfair or unreasonable situation that you are expected to accept

information overload

noun

a situation in which you get more information than you can deal with at one time and become tired and confused

jam

noun

a difficult situation

jungle

noun

a place or situation that is unpleasant because people are trying to achieve things for themselves and are not helping each other

(just) the tip of the iceberg

a problem or difficult situation that shows that a much more serious problem exists

knock

noun

something bad or unpleasant that happens to someone

logjam

noun

a situation in which one problem is stopping anything else from being done

low

noun

a bad time in your life

mess

noun

a difficult situation with a lot of problems, especially because people have made mistakes

mire

noun

an unpleasant situation that you cannot easily escape from

misadventure

noun

formal something bad that happens to you

misfortune

noun

something harmful or unpleasant that happens to someone

night

noun

literary a period of great sadness, failure etc

not a barrel of laughs

a very unpleasant experience or situation

no-win situation

noun

a situation in which there is no chance of success

one of those days

a day when you seem to have a lot of problems

overcrowding

noun

unpleasant conditions caused by too many people or things being in the same place

palaver

noun

informal a situation that causes you a lot of unnecessary trouble or work

perfect storm

noun

a very unpleasant situation in which several bad things happen at once

pit

noun

mainly literary a state in which you have very strong unpleasant feelings or in which something bad is happening

plight

noun

a sad, serious, or difficult situation

poetic justice

noun

bad things that happen to someone and are deserved because of their bad behaviour

pressure cooker

noun

informal a difficult situation in which people have to work very hard or experience a lot of strong emotions

purgatory

noun

an unpleasant place or experience

rat race

noun

an activity, job, or situation in which there is a lot of competition and people are too busy to relax or enjoy themselves

the rub

noun

literary a problem, or a difficult situation

the school of hard knocks

noun

the difficult experiences that happen in someone’s life and that influence the type of person they become

scrape

noun

informal a difficult situation that someone causes by being careless

shitstorm

noun

impolite a situation in which people are very angry or there are a lot of problems

slippery slope

noun

a problem or situation that is getting worse and will become extremely bad unless it is stopped

spiral

noun

a situation that gets worse and worse

spot

noun

informal a difficult situation

stalemate

noun

a situation in which progress is impossible because the people or groups involved cannot agree

suffering

noun

mental or physical pain or problems

tangle

noun

a situation that is difficult to deal with because things are not organized properly

tension

noun

a situation in which opposing aims, ideas, or influences cause problems

test

noun

a difficult situation that shows what qualities someone or something has

toils

noun

literary a difficult or unpleasant situation that you cannot get away from

torment

noun

severe physical or mental pain that someone suffers, often caused deliberately by someone else

trap

noun

a bad or unpleasant situation that is difficult to change or escape from

travail

noun

literary a very difficult situation, or a situation in which you must work very hard

treadmill

noun

a situation that is very tiring or boring because you do the same things continuously

trial

noun

a painful or difficult experience

trouble

noun

a situation for which you are likely to be blamed, criticized, or punished

tsunami

noun

a disastrous situation that cannot be controlled

victimhood

noun

the situation of someone who is a victim, or who thinks that they have been unfairly treated

whammy

noun

something very difficult or unpleasant that unexpectedly happens to someone. A double whammy is two bad things happening close together.

whirlpool

noun

a situation in which you lose control of what is happening, usually in an unpleasant way

the worst of all/both worlds

used for saying that a person or situation has all the disadvantages that are possible

BuzzWord

hygge

a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

sofar

a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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