Learn 20 Expressions Related to Difficulty

Life is full of challenges, and our language reflects this through various expressions and idioms that describe difficult situations. Whether it’s overcoming hurdles at work or navigating personal trials, these phrases add color and depth to our descriptions of hardship. This blog post explores 20 expressions related to difficulty, providing brief meanings and examples to help you understand and use them effectively in everyday conversations.

Expressions Related to Difficulty

1. Against the grain

Meaning: Doing something contrary to the norm.

Example: He went against the grain and dyed his hair blue.

2. Climb a mountain

Meaning: Face a significant challenge.

Example: Finishing this project on time is like climbing a mountain.

3. In hot water

Meaning: In trouble.

Example: She was in hot water after missing the meeting.

4. Up the creek without a paddle

Meaning: In a bad situation without escape.

Example: Without the report, we’re up the creek without a paddle.

5. Bite off more than you can chew

Meaning: Take on too much.

Example: He bit off more than he could chew with that promise.

6. Between a rock and a hard place

Meaning: Faced with two difficult options.

Example: I’m between a rock and a hard place with these choices.

7. Burn the midnight oil

Meaning: Work late into the night.

Example: We burned the midnight oil to meet the deadline.

8. No picnic

Meaning: Difficult.

Example: Running a marathon is no picnic.

9. Not for the faint of heart

Meaning: Very challenging.

Example: This scary movie is not for the faint of heart.

10. A tough nut to crack

Meaning: Hard to solve.

Example: This puzzle is a tough nut to crack.

11. Through thick and thin

Meaning: In all difficulties.

Example: They stuck together through thick and thin.

12. Like pulling teeth

Meaning: Very difficult.

Example: Getting him to apologize was like pulling teeth.

13. Walk on eggshells

Meaning: Be overly cautious.

Example: I walked on eggshells around him all day.

14. Back against the wall

Meaning: Few options left.

Example: With our backs against the wall, we had to innovate.

15. Steep learning curve

Meaning: Quickly and difficultly learning something.

Example: Learning to code has a steep learning curve.

16. Fight an uphill battle

Meaning: Struggle against odds.

Example: He’s fighting an uphill battle for approval.

17. Weather the storm

Meaning: Survive hard times.

Example: They weathered the storm of the scandal.

18. At the end of one’s rope

Meaning: Losing patience.

Example: I’m at the end of my rope with this noise.

19. In a tight spot

Meaning: In a difficult position.

Example: Financially, he’s in a tight spot.

20. Cross to bear

Meaning: A burden one must carry.

Example: His critical attitude is his cross to bear.

Expressions Related to Difficulty