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A problem is an issue or obstacle which makes it difficult to achieve a desired goal, objective or purpose. It refers to a situation, condition, or issue that is yet unresolved. In a broad sense, a problem exists when an individual becomes aware of a significant difference between what is potential and actual.

Problem solving

Every theoretical problem asks for an answer or solution. Trying to find a solution to a problem is known as problem solving. That is, a problem is a gap between an actual and desired situation. The time it takes to solve a problem is a way of measuring complexity.[1] Many problems have no discovered solution and are therefore classified as an open problem.

For lessons on the topic of Problems, follow this link.


The term issue is widely and wrongly used as a substitute for the word 'problem'. This use is believed to have originated in corporate communications where 'problem' is deemed to be too negative.

See also