Prob"lem (?), n. [F.
problème, 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.
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