1. Conditional antagonism
[Nouns] difficulty; hardness; impracticability (impossibility) [more]; tough work, hard work, uphill work; hard task, Herculean task, Augean task; task of Sisyphus, Sisyphean labor, tough job, teaser, rasper, dead lift.
dilemma, embarrassment; deadlock; perplexity (uncertainty) [more]; intricacy; entanglement [more]; cross fire; awkwardness, delicacy, ticklish card to play, knot, Gordian knot, dignus vindice nodus, net, meshes, maze; coil (convolution) [more]; crooked path; involvement.
nice point, delicate point, subtle point, knotty point; vexed question, vexata quaestio, poser; puzzle (riddle) [more]; paradox; hard nut to crack, nut to crack; bone to pick, crux, pons asinorum, where the shoe pinches.
nonplus, quandary, strait, pass, pinch, pretty pass, stress, brunt; critical situation, crisis; trial, rub, emergency, exigency, scramble.
scrape, hobble, slough, quagmire, hot water, hornet's nest; sea of troubles, peck of troubles; pretty kettle of fish; pickle, stew, imbroglio, mess, ado; false position.
set fast, stand; deadlock, dead set.
fix, horns of a dilemma, cul de sac; hitch; stumblng block (hindrance) [more].
[Verbs] be difficult; run one hard, go against the grain, try one's patience, put one out; put to one's shifts, put to one's wit's end; go hard with one, try one; pose, perplex (uncertain) [more]; bother, nonplus, gravel, bring to a deadlock; be impossible [more]; be in the way of (hinder) [more].
meet with difficulties; labor under difficulties; get into difficulties; plunge into difficulties; struggle with difficulties; contend with difficulties; grapple with difficulties; labor under a disadvantage; be in difficulty
fish in troubled waters, buffet the waves, swim against the stream, scud under bare poles.
have much ado with, have a hard time of it; come to the push, come to the pinch; bear the brunt.
grope in the dark, lose one's way, weave a tangled web, walk among eggs.
get into a scrape; bring a hornet's nest about one's ears; be put to one's shifts; flounder, boggle, struggle; not know which way to turn (uncertain) [more]; perdre son Latin; stick at, stick in the mud, stick fast; come to a stand, come to a deadlock; hold the wolf by the ears.
render difficult; enmesh, encumber, embarrass, ravel, entangle; put a spoke in the wheel (hinder) [more]; lead a pretty dance.
difficult to deal with, hard to deal with; ill-conditioned, crabbed; not to be handled with kid gloves, not made with rose water.
awkward, unwieldy, unmanageable; intractable, stubborn (obstinate) [more]; perverse, refractory, plaguy, trying, thorny, rugged; knotted, knotty; invious; pathless, trackless; labyrinthine (convoluted) [more]; intricate, complicated (tangled) [more]; impracticable (impossible) [more]; not feasible [more]; desperate (hopeless) [more].
embarrassing, perplexing (uncertain) [more]; delicate, ticklish, critical; beset with difficulties, full of difficulties, surrounded by difficulties, entangled by difficulties, encompassed with difficulties.
under a difficulty; in a box; in difficulty, in hot water, in the suds, in a cleft stick, in a fix, in the wrong box, in a scrape, in deep water, in a fine pickle; in extremis; between two stools, between Scylla and Charybdis; surrounded by shoals, surrounded by breakers, surrounded by quicksands; at cross purposes; not out of the wood(s).
reduced to straits; hard pressed, sorely pressed; run hard; pinched, put to it, straitened; hard up, hard put to it, hard set; put to one's shifts; puzzled, at a loss, (uncertain) [more]; at the end of one's tether, at one's wit's end, at a nonplus, at a standstill; graveled, nonplussed, stranded, aground; stuck fast, set fast; up a tree, at bay, aux abois, driven into a corner, driven from pillar to post, driven to extremity, driven to one's wit's end, driven to the wall; au bout de son Latin; out of one's depth; thrown out.
accomplished with difficulty; hard-fought, hard-earned.