problematic

Something problematic poses a problem or causes difficulties. Your ambitions to become the next great leader of Spain are great, but your inability to speak Spanish might prove problematic.

Around 1600, the word problematical was shortened and problematic was born. Perhaps they wanted to make it less problematic for spellers. It's an adjective that means tough, hard to solve, or even questionable. A flat tire in the middle of the desert would certainly be problematic, as would a star witness with a history of telling lies.

Primary Meanings of problematic

1.
adj
making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe
2.
adj
open to doubt or debate
Full Definitions of problematic
1

adj making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe

“a problematic situation at home”
Synonyms:
baffling, elusive, knotty, problematical, tough
difficult, hard
not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure
2

adj open to doubt or debate

“If you ever get married, which seems to be extremely problematic
Synonyms:
debatable, problematical
questionable
subject to question

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