55+ Synonyms for “Problem” with Examples | Another Word for “Problem”

In English, a single word often has multiple synonyms, each with subtle nuances that can convey the severity, complexity, or nature of a problem more precisely. Choosing the right synonym for ‘problem’ depends on the context in which you’re using it, whether it’s in academic writing, everyday conversation, or business communication.

Problem Synonyms

55+ Synonyms for "Problem" with Examples | Another Word for "Problem"

What Is ‘Problem’?

Problem” refers to a situation, question, or matter that presents uncertainty, difficulty, or challenge. It implies the need for a solution or resolution to overcome a hindrance or obstacle.


  • The team worked diligently to identify the root cause of the problem and devise a solution.
  • His persistent efforts eventually led to the successful resolution of the problem.
  • We need to address this problem before it escalates further.
  • The company’s proactive approach helped them tackle the problem before it caused significant disruptions.

List of Synonyms For Problem

  • Bother
  • Business
  • Can of worms
  • Case
  • Challenge
  • Complication
  • Concern
  • Conundrum
  • Difficult
  • Difficult situation
  • Difficulties
  • Difficulty
  • Dilemma
  • Doubt
  • Drawback
  • Enigma
  • Fly in the ointment
  • Glitch
  • Hard
  • Headache (informal)
  • Hindrance
  • Hitch
  • Inconvenience
  • Issue
  • Matter
  • Mess
  • Muddle
  • Mystery
  • Nuisance
  • Object
  • Obstacle
  • Okay
  • Phenom
  • Pickle
  • Plight
  • Point
  • Poser
  • Predicament
  • Problematical
  • Problems
  • Puzzle
  • Quandary
  • Query
  • Question
  • Riddle
  • Situation
  • Snag
  • Something wrong
  • Struggling
  • Subject
  • Task
  • Thing
  • Topic
  • Trouble
  • Worry

Types Of Synonyms For Problem


  • Challenge
  • Obstacle
  • Complication
  • Hurdle


  • Concern
  • Matter
  • Question
  • Predicament


  • Dilemma
  • Adversity
  • Hardship
  • Setback


  • Enigma
  • Puzzle
  • Mystery
  • Riddle

Common Synonyms For Problem

Problem vs. Issue

Problem typically suggests a situation that is disruptive and needs to be solved, often with a sense of urgency. Issue, on the other hand, implies a topic for debate or a situation that may have multiple viewpoints and requires discussion to reach a resolution.

  • She encountered a significant problem while trying to access the data.
  • The team discussed the budgetary issue during the meeting.

Problem vs. Matter

Matter is a more neutral term than problem. While a problem is something generally negative that requires a solution, a matter refers to a subject or scenario that can be neutral or require consideration without necessarily implying difficulty.

  • The technical problem caused a delay in the project timeline.
  • The financial matter was discussed in detail during the board meeting.

Problem vs. Trouble

Trouble is synonymous with difficulty or distress, similar to problem, but often conveys a sense of worry or deeper consequences. Problems can be troubles, but not all troubles are problems in the sense that they can be personal or emotional, without a clear path to resolution.

  • The main problem with this plan is that it’s too expensive.
  • I’m having trouble understanding this concept – can you explain it again?

Problem vs. Obstacle

An obstacle is a type of problem that blocks your progress toward a goal. It suggests a challenge to be overcome. While all obstacles are problems, not all problems are obstacles. Some problems are abstract or not directly impeding progress.

  • I have a problem with my computer – it keeps freezing.
  • Overcoming the language barrier was a major obstacle in the negotiations.

Synonyms For Problem In Different Contexts

In Professional Contexts

  • Obstacle: “Your limited budget is a significant obstacle to implementing the new marketing strategy.”
  • Setback: “The loss of a key team member is a serious setback for the project’s timeline.”
  • Challenge: “Overcoming market competition is one of the biggest challenges we face as a company.”
  • Difficulty: “The team had to navigate through various difficulties during the merger process.”

In Everyday Situations

  • Snag: “We hit a snag while renovating the kitchen when we discovered water damage in the walls.”
  • Pitfall: “One of the common pitfalls of budget travel is compromising too much on comfort.”

In Intellectual and Complex Matters

  • Conundrum: “Scientists are still trying to solve the conundrum of dark matter.”
  • Dilemma: “Choosing between environmental conservation and economic growth can be a real moral dilemma.”

In Personal and Emotional Issues

  • Quandary: “She was in a quandary about whether to attend her friend’s wedding or her sister’s graduation.”
  • Predicament: “Finding himself locked out of the house was quite the predicament to be in.”

Absolute And Near Synonyms For Problem

Absolute Synonyms For Problem

Word Meaning
Issue Matter open to question or dispute.
Difficulty State of being hard to deal with or overcome.
Complication Complex problem or situation.

Near Synonyms For Problem

Word Meaning
Challenge Obstacle or setback that requires effort to overcome.
Obstacle Something that blocks or impedes progress.
Setback A reversal or check in progress.
Hurdle An obstacle to be overcome.
Snag A problem or complication that impedes progress.

Synonyms for Problem with Examples – Image

55+ Synonyms for "Problem" with Examples | Another Word for "Problem"

Frequently Asked Questions

What are alternative words used for ‘problem’ in a formal context?

In formal writing or speech, you might use terms such as ‘issue,’ ‘challenge,’ or ‘situation’ to replace the word ‘problem.’

What term can replace ‘serious problem’ in English vocabulary?

To convey the gravity of a ‘serious problem,’ you could use ‘critical issue,’ ‘major concern,’ or ‘significant obstacle.’

Which words convey the meaning of ‘problem’ with a more positive connotation?

When aiming for a positive spin, ‘opportunity’ or ‘area for improvement’ can replace ‘problem,’ suggesting a chance for positive change.

What synonyms exist for expressing ‘difficulty’ in place of ‘problem’?

Instead of ‘problem,’ you might express ‘difficulty’ using terms like ‘complication,’ ‘hurdle,’ or ‘snag.’

How can you rephrase ‘facing a problem’ using another term?

You can rephrase ‘facing a problem’ to ‘addressing a challenge’ or ‘tackling an obstacle,’ which carries a proactive and dynamic tone.

What are some significant terms that mirror the intensity of ‘big problems’?

For ‘big problems,’ consider using ‘crisis,’ ‘predicament,’ or ‘quandary,’ which imply serious and substantial difficulties.