an unwanted and often irreversible condition
   The word is used in many phrases to conceal truth or inadequacy. Thus a cash problem in an individual is a shortage of money, and not a superfluity or a lack of pockets to put it in. In a company a cash flow problem means that it is overtrading or insolvent. A communication problem means that nobody understands us or we don't understand them. A crossword problem means we cannot complete the crossword (a problem problem?) although a problem crossword is one we may expect to solve. A drink problem is alcoholic addiction by a problem drinker:
    ... the fact that she was a 'problem drinker'... (Styron, 1976)
   However, a drinks problem at a party would indicate only that you might be running out of supplies. A heart problem is a malfunction of that organ, with other organs or bodily parts similarly identified according to your disability.
   The onset of menstruation may herald a woman's problem days, but if she suffers from a women's problem she may have a disorder of the womb or of some other part exclusive to her sex. Staying with health, the obese may have a weight problem:
    If you are destined to be fat, food makes you fat. But I have never had a weight problem. (I. Murdoch, 1978)
   A society which includes many races may face a colour problem, while a black person may be said offensively to have a pigmentation problem:
    ... wants to send anyone with a pigmentation problem back to Islamabad. (Sharpe, 1979)
   Politicians profess to face innumerable problems, not all of their own making. Thus Hitler was tested by a so-called Austrian problem, which he resolved by having Austria's chancellor murdered and then by invading the country.

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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  • problem — [präb′ləm] n. [ME probleme < MFr < L problema < Gr problēma < proballein, to throw forward < pro , forward + ballein, to throw, drive: see PRO 1 & BALL2] 1. a question proposed for solution or consideration 2. a question, matter,… …   English World dictionary

  • Problem — Prob lem, n. [F. probl[ e]me, L. problema, fr. Gr. ? anything thrown forward, a question proposed for solution, fr. ? to throw or lay before; ? before, forward + ? to throw. Cf. {Parable}. ] [1913 Webster] 1. A question proposed for solution; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • problem — pròblēm m <G probléma> DEFINICIJA 1. teorijsko ili praktično pitanje koje treba riješiti [bit problema; matematički problem; načeti problem] 2. težak zadatak; teškoća, ono što komplicira rješenje ili radni proces [to je problem; to je… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Problem — Sn Schwierigkeit, Aufgabe std. (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. problēma, dieses aus gr. próblēma, eigentlich das Vorgelegte , zu gr. probállein vorwerfen, vorhalten , zu gr. bállein werfen und gr. pro . Die schwächere moderne Bedeutung… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • problem — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. mnż I, D. u, Mc. problemmie {{/stl 8}}{{stl 20}} {{/stl 20}}{{stl 12}}1. {{/stl 12}}{{stl 7}} poważne zagadnienie z jakiejś dziedziny, które trzeba rozstrzygnąć, rozwiązać : {{/stl 7}}{{stl 10}}Problem matematyczny.… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • problem — (n.) late 14c., a difficult question proposed for solution, from O.Fr. problème (14c.), from L. problema, from Gk. problema a problem, a question, lit. thing put forward, from proballein propose, from pro forward (see PRO (Cf. pro )) + ballein to …   Etymology dictionary

  • Problēm — (v. gr. Problēma), 1) eine Frage, welche beantwortet, eine Aufgabe, welche gelöst werden soll u. deren Beantwortung u. Lösung nicht unmittelbar zugänglich ist, sondern einer Vermittelung des Denkens od. Handelns bedarf Enthält eine… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • problem — PROBLÉM s.n. v. problemă. Trimis de oprocopiuc, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  PROBLÉM s.n. v. problemă. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN …   Dicționar Român

  • problem — [n1] difficulty; bad situation botheration, box*, can of worms*, complication, count*, crunch*, dilemma, disagreement, dispute, disputed point, doubt, headache*, hitch*, hot water*, issue, mess*, obstacle, pickle*, point at issue*, predicament,… …   New thesaurus

  • Problem — [Wichtig (Rating 3200 5600)] Bsp.: • Wir hatten zuerst ein paar Probleme. • Ich habe hier ein Problem. Kannst du mir helfen? …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Problēm — (griech.) heißt jede der Beantwortung, bez. Lösung harrende wissenschaftliche »Frage« oder »Aufgabe«. Auf dem Wege der Ausstellung und Lösung immer neuer Probleme erfolgt die Entwickelung jeder Wissenschaft, und die Aufzeigung und zweckmäßige… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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