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I'm looking for a word that seems to elude me that has the meaning of something like "the propensity to cause problems, the degree to which something causes trouble, troublesomeness".

For example, if there are potholes in a road and we want to rank them by ___, not by their size, but by how much problems they cause by being located in the path of wheels or on high speed roads, etc.

The two words in the title are too cumbersome and I'm not even sure if they are real words, I swear the must be a shorter word for that?

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  • You could be looking for "..rank them by severity." Really, "troublesomeness" is fine to my ear, if that is precisely what you mean.
    – Fattie
    Feb 12, 2019 at 18:41
  • Yes, severity is what I was thinking as well.
    – Curiosity
    Feb 13, 2019 at 17:37
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    "rank by severity" is a common expression, so, maybe that's it
    – Fattie
    Feb 13, 2019 at 17:42

2 Answers 2

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Try nuisance. The first meaning is personal and social, but the second pertains more generally to things (items, situations) that cause irritation:

  1. something that is a source of irritation

You would be focusing on how much potholes cause irritation to drivers:

For example, if there are potholes in a road and we want to rank them by nuisance, not by their size, but by how much of a problem they cause by being located in the path of wheels or on high speed roads, etc.

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You may be looking for the degree of "hazardousness" or "dangerousness" attributed to the potholes in question.

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/hazardousness

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/dangerousness

https://www.freethesaurus.com/hazardousness

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