Cambridge Dictionary

  • Cambridge Dictionary +Plus

Meaning of problem-solving in English

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio

  • problem-solver

Examples of problem-solving


Word of the Day

future shock

the problems or the uncomfortable feeling that some people experience as a result of very fast changes in technology or society

Tucking in and pigging out (Eating phrasal verbs)

Tucking in and pigging out (Eating phrasal verbs)

what is the meaning of a problem solver

Learn more with +Plus

  • Recent and Recommended {{#preferredDictionaries}} {{name}} {{/preferredDictionaries}}
  • Definitions Clear explanations of natural written and spoken English English Learner’s Dictionary Essential British English Essential American English
  • Grammar and thesaurus Usage explanations of natural written and spoken English Grammar Thesaurus
  • Pronunciation British and American pronunciations with audio English Pronunciation
  • English–Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified)–English
  • English–Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional)–English
  • English–Dutch Dutch–English
  • English–French French–English
  • English–German German–English
  • English–Indonesian Indonesian–English
  • English–Italian Italian–English
  • English–Japanese Japanese–English
  • English–Norwegian Norwegian–English
  • English–Polish Polish–English
  • English–Portuguese Portuguese–English
  • English–Spanish Spanish–English
  • Dictionary +Plus Word Lists
  • problem-solving
  • All translations

Add problem-solving to one of your lists below, or create a new one.


Something went wrong.

There was a problem sending your report.

Go to the homepage

Example sentences problem solver

If his exam skills were slightly rusty, he lacked nothing as a practical engineer - a problem solver , as he now describes himself.
He's a problem solver , a game changer, the greatest player to have played the game.
The top ten clichés found were: motivated, extensive experience, innovative, proven track record, dynamic, team player, pro-active, entrepreneurial, skill set and problem solver .
She's a social pivot and a problem solver .
Supporter of many charities, gardener, singer, problem solver .

Definition of 'problem' problem

IPA Pronunciation Guide

COBUILD Collocations problem solver

Browse alphabetically problem solver.

  • problem page
  • problem persists
  • problem recurs
  • problem solver
  • problem stems
  • problem was diagnosed
  • problem-free
  • All ENGLISH words that begin with 'P'

Quick word challenge

Quiz Review

Score: 0 / 5


Wordle Helper


Scrabble Tools

10 Characteristics of Good Problem Solvers

Professional psychologist, motivational writer

Good problem solvers are good thinkers. They have less drama and problems to begin with and don't get overly emotional when faced with a problem. They usually see problems as challenges and life experiences and try to stand above them, objectively.

Good problem solvers use a combination of intuition and logic to come up with their solutions. Intuition has more to do with the emotional and instinctive side of us and logic is more related to our cognition and thinking. Good problem solvers use both of these forces to get as much information as they can to come up with the best possible solution. In addition, they are reasonably open minded but logically skeptical.

Some of the general characteristics of good problem solvers are:

1. They don't need to be right all the time: They focus on finding the right solution rather than wanting to prove they are right at all costs.

2. They go beyond their own conditioning: They go beyond a fixated mind set and open up to new ways of thinking and can explore options.

3. They look for opportunity within the problem: They see problems as challenges and try to learn from them.

4. They know the difference between complex and simple thinking: They know when to do a systematic and complex thinking and when to go through short cuts and find an easy solution.

5. They have clear definition of what the problem is: They can specifically identity the problem.

6. They use the power of words to connect with people: They are socially well developed and find ways to connect with people and try to find happy-middle solutions.

7. They don't create problems for others: They understand that to have their problem solved they can't create problems for others. Good problems solvers who create fair solutions make a conscious effort not to harm others for a self-interest intention. They know such acts will have long term consequences even if the problem is temporarily solved.

8. They do prevention more than intervention: Good problem solvers have a number of skills to prevent problems from happening in the first place. They usually face less drama, conflict, and stressful situations since they have clear boundaries, don't let their rights violated and do not violate other people's rights. They are more of a positive thinker so naturally they are surrounded with more positivity and have more energy to be productive.

9. They explore their options: They see more than one solution to a problem and find new and productive ways to deal with new problems as they arise. They also have a backup plan if the first solution does not work and can ask for support and advise when needed.

10. They have reasonable expectations: Good problem solvers have reasonable expectations as to what the solution would be. They understand that there are many elements effecting a situation and that idealistic ways of thinking and going about solving a problem will be counterproductive.

At the end, good problem solvers do not have too many irrational fears when dealing with problems. They can visualize the worst case scenario, work their way out of it and let go of the fear attached to it. Fear can make your logic and intuition shady and your decisions unproductive.

Support HuffPost

A no-b.s. guide to life.

At HuffPost, we believe that everyone needs high-quality journalism, but we understand that not everyone can afford to pay for expensive news subscriptions. That is why we are committed to providing deeply reported, carefully fact-checked news that is freely accessible to everyone.

Our News, Politics and Culture teams invest time and care working on hard-hitting investigations and researched analyses, along with quick but robust daily takes. Our Life, Health and Shopping desks provide you with well-researched, expert-vetted information you need to live your best life, while HuffPost Personal, Voices and Opinion center real stories from real people.

Help keep news free for everyone by giving us as little as $1. Your contribution will go a long way.

HuffPost is your trusted source to help you lead a better life. Our reporters rely on research, expert advice and lived experiences. So when you've got questions, you know you can trust our answers.

We're determined to keep HuffPost Life — and every other part of HuffPost — 100% free. Help us do that by contributing as little as $1.

HuffPost is your trusted source for stories that help you lead a better life. We've got you covered on all things health, wellness, food, style, parenting, relationships, work, travel and lifestyle. Our reporters rely on research, expert advice and lived experiences to address all your concerns, big and small. So when you've got questions, you know you can trust our answers.

Michelle Roya Rad, Contributor

Do you have info to share with HuffPost reporters? Here’s how.

Popular in the Community

From our partner, gift guides, more in life.

what is the meaning of a problem solver

Words and phrases

Personal account.

  • Access or purchase personal subscriptions
  • Get our newsletter
  • Save searches
  • Set display preferences

Institutional access

Sign in with library card

Sign in with username / password

Recommend to your librarian

Institutional account management

Sign in as administrator on Oxford Academic

problem-solver noun

  • Show all quotations

What does the noun problem-solver mean?

There is one meaning in OED's entry for the noun problem-solver . See ‘Meaning & use’ for definition, usage, and quotation evidence.

How common is the noun problem-solver ?

Where does the noun problem-solver come from.

Earliest known use

The earliest known use of the noun problem-solver is in the 1840s.

OED's earliest evidence for problem-solver is from 1848, in British Quarterly Review .

problem-solver is formed within English, by compounding.

Etymons: problem n. , solver n.

Nearby entries

  • problemist, n. a1631–
  • problemistic, adj. 1892–
  • problemize, v. 1844–
  • problemless, adj. 1865–
  • problemo, n. 1985–
  • problem of three bodies, n. 1814–
  • problem-orientated, adj. 1951–
  • problem-oriented, adj. 1946–
  • problem play, n. 1894–
  • problem-solve, v. 1956–
  • problem-solver, n. 1848–
  • problem-solving, n. & adj. 1854–
  • problem tape, n. 1948–
  • problem-wise, adv. a1859–
  • pro-Boarder, n. 1902–
  • pro-Boerism, n. 1899–
  • probole, n.¹ 1684–1880
  • probole, n.² 1696–
  • probolistic, adj. 1876–
  • pro bono, adv. & adj. 1774–
  • pro bono publico, adv. 1640–

Meaning & use

Thank you for visiting Oxford English Dictionary

To continue reading, please sign in below or purchase a subscription

Entry history for problem-solver, n.

Originally published as part of the entry for problem, n.

problem, n. was revised in June 2007 is a living text, updated every three months. Modifications may include:

  • further revisions to definitions, pronunciation, etymology, headwords, variant spellings, quotations, and dates;
  • new senses, phrases, and quotations.

Earlier versions of problem, n. were published in:

OED First Edition (1908)

  • Find out more

OED Second Edition (1989)

Please submit your feedback for problem-solver, n.

Please include your email address if you are happy to be contacted about your feedback. OUP will not use this email address for any other purpose.

Citation details

Factsheet for problem-solver, n., browse entry.


  1. Problem Solver Me stock image. Image of hero, difficult

    what is the meaning of a problem solver

  2. PPT

    what is the meaning of a problem solver

  3. PPT

    what is the meaning of a problem solver

  4. Critical Thinking. How to solve problems?

    what is the meaning of a problem solver

  5. Problem-solver definition

    what is the meaning of a problem solver

  6. Problem solving process clipart 20 free Cliparts

    what is the meaning of a problem solver


  1. What Are Some Free Riddle Solvers?

    There are a number of free riddle solvers and riddle sites online, including,, and Most riddle solving sites also contain riddles to solve.

  2. What Is a Zero Exponent?

    An exponent tells the problem solver how many times to multiply a number by itself; therefore, a zero exponent tells the problem solver to multiply the number zero times by itself. Basically, any number with a zero exponent is equal to one,...

  3. What Are Examples of Key Strengths?

    Key strengths include being an effective communicator and a solid problem solver, and possessing a strong work ethic. Being a good decision maker, having organizational ability and being flexible are other key strengths for a professional e...

  4. Problem solver

    a thinker who focuses on the problem as stated and tries to synthesize information and knowledge to achieve a solution.


    PROBLEM-SOLVING definition: the process of finding solutions to problems: . Learn more.

  6. PROBLEM SOLVER definition and meaning

    PROBLEM SOLVER definition: A problem is a situation that is unsatisfactory and causes difficulties for people. [...] | Meaning, pronunciation, translations

  7. Problem-solving Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of PROBLEM-SOLVING is the process or act of finding a solution to a problem. How to use problem-solving in a sentence.

  8. What is Problem Solving? Steps, Process & Techniques

    Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution;

  9. definition of problem solver by The Free Dictionary

    Define problem solver. problem solver synonyms, problem solver pronunciation, problem solver translation, English dictionary definition of problem solver.

  10. Problem solving

    Problem solving is the process of achieving a goal by overcoming obstacles, a frequent part of most activities. Problems in need of solutions range from

  11. 10 Characteristics of Good Problem Solvers

    Good problem solvers are good thinkers. They have less drama and problems to begin with and don't get overly emotional when faced with a

  12. How To Be a Better Problem Solver (With Steps and Tips)

    A problem solver is an individual who makes decisions and resolves issues using critical thinking and analytical skills. Typically, they

  13. problem-solver, n. meanings, etymology and more

    problem-solver, n. meanings, etymology, pronunciation and more in the Oxford English Dictionary.

  14. What Is Problem Solving? Steps, Techniques, and Best Practices

    Problem solving is the art of identifying problems and implementing the best possible solutions. Revisiting your problem-solving skills may