the root of the problem

the root of the problem

The underlying cause or fundamental essence of some issue, problem, or difficulty at hand. Our team of professionals will walk you through a troubleshooting process that will help get to the root of whatever problem you're experiencing with your device. Here's the root of the problem, Bill—we feel that you haven't been meeting the standards of work that we expect of you recently. If the politicians in Washington would stop all their games and mudslinging for a minute might actually be able to solve the root of the problems affecting our country.
See also: of, problem, root

*root of the problem

an understanding of the causes or basis of a problem. (*Typically: determine ~; figure out ~; find ~; get to ~; get at ~.) It will take a little more study to get to the root of the problem. Let's stop avoiding the issue and get at the root of the problem.
See also: of, problem, root