problem


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to problem: problem definition

problem

1. Maths a statement requiring a solution usually by means of one or more operations or geometric constructions
2. designating a literary work that deals with difficult moral questions

Problem

 

in the broad sense, a complex theoretical or practical question requiring study and a solution. In science, a problem consists in a contradictory situation that arises in the form of opposing views to the explanation of any given phenomenon, object, or process and that requires an adequate theory for its solution. A key prerequisite for the solution of a problem is its correct statement or formulation. An incorrectly stated problem merely detracts attention from the solution of the real problem. [21–8—4]

References in classic literature ?
I have never yet encountered any problem, however, which my inventive brain was unable to solve, and I promise you that to-morrow I will turn my attention to the question of our descent.
You are right, my dear doctor; but this problem is not yet solved; this means has not yet been discovered.
Consider the change that has come in twenty years in the discussion of the Negro problem.
Ghak finally solved the problem, in part, by lifting Perry in his powerful arms and carrying him.
And so he rode overseeing about the plantation, with tightly drawn and puckered brows, puzzling over the problem, and steeling himself to the first attempt.
And while Arthur took up the tale, for the twentieth time, of his adventure with the drunken hoodlums on the ferry-boat and of how Martin Eden had rushed in and rescued him, that individual, with frowning brows, meditated upon the fool he had made of himself, and wrestled more determinedly with the problem of how he should conduct himself toward these people.
Viewing the matter as an abstract problem, I had forgotten how personal and painful a thing it might be to you.
For forty years he had vainly tried to solve a problem that was really himself and that with increasing years became more and more a woeful affliction.
The problem, therefore, is this-- What thickness ought a cast-iron shell to have in order not to weight more than 20,000 pounds?
Yes, my worthy friend; taking into consideration all the elements of the problem, the distance from the center of the earth to the center of the moon, of the radius of the earth, of its bulk, and of the bulk of the moon, I can tell exactly what ought to be the initiatory speed of the projectile, and that by a simple formula.
You are going to know all; and, without further preamble, I am going to place before your eyes the problem of The Yellow Room as it was placed before the eyes of the entire world on the day following the enactment of the drama at the Chateau du Glandier.
There is no problem in a stillborn babe, nor in a dead child.