**Prob"lem** (?), n. [F. *probleme*, L. *problema*, fr. Gr. anything thrown forward, a question proposed for solution, fr. to throw or lay before; before, forward + to throw. Cf. Parable. ]

**1.**

A question proposed for solution; a matter stated for examination or proof; hence, a matter difficult of solution or settlement; a doubtful case; a question involving doubt.

*Bacon.*

**2.** Math.

Anything which is required to be done; as, in geometry, to bisect a line, to draw a perpendicular; or, in algebra, to find an unknown quantity.

⇒ *Problem* differs from *theorem* in this, that a problem is something to be done, as to bisect a triangle, to describe a circle, etc.; a theorem is something to be proved, as that all the angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles.

Plane problem Geom., a problem that can be solved by the use of the rule and compass. -- Solid problem Geom., a problem requiring in its geometric solution the use of a conic section or higher curve.

© Webster 1913.