ar·​du·​ous | \ ˈär-jə-wəs How to pronounce arduous (audio) , -dyu̇-, -jü-əs \

Definition of arduous

1a : hard to accomplish or achieve : difficult an arduous task years of arduous training
b : marked by great labor or effort : strenuous … a life of arduous toil.— A. C. Cole
2 : hard to climb : steep an arduous path

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Other Words from arduous

arduously adverb
arduousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for arduous

hard, difficult, arduous mean demanding great exertion or effort. hard implies the opposite of all that is easy. farming is hard work difficult implies the presence of obstacles to be surmounted or puzzles to be resolved and suggests the need of skill or courage. the difficult ascent of the mountain arduous stresses the need of laborious and persevering exertion. the arduous task of rebuilding

Examples of arduous in a Sentence

Traveling for several days by train, stagecoach and horseback, they would reach Mariposa Grove, a stand of some 200 ancient giant sequoias, where they would rest before embarking on an arduous descent via 26 switchbacks into the valley. — Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian, July 2008 As yoga classes go, this is not an arduous one, but the students don't know that. — Richard Corliss, Time, 23 Apr. 2001 Women of middling means had the most to gain from increased consumption, for imported goods often reduced their long and arduous labor, especially in making candles and soap or in spinning and weaving cloth. — Alan Taylor, American Colonies, 2000 He went through a long and arduous training program. an arduous journey across miles of desert
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Recent Examples on the Web The start-up process is arduous, involving multiple permits from multiple agencies and the actual selection of sites for these farms can be problematic. Matt Wyatt, San Antonio Express-News, "Pioneers of Texas' oyster farming industry embrace the challenges," 25 Feb. 2021 Tighe Kirkland, a partner at Manning, said the permitting process has been arduous, with the application in March 2020 finally receiving approval in November. David A. Hammer,, "As his blighted Algiers Point home draws ire, state Sen. Troy Carter points to city, cyberattack," 27 Jan. 2021 In the Morse code days, when sending long messages could be arduous, a useful shorthand was to respond with single, meaningful letters. The Editors Of Popular Mechanics, Popular Mechanics, "Where 'Roger That' Really Comes From," 20 Jan. 2021 Still, there are some signs that the road ahead may not be as arduous. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, "‘The end is not yet in sight’: Coronavirus danger remains even as some metrics improve, L.A. County says," 20 Jan. 2021 Some Westerners have projected visions of Shangri-La onto Nepal’s mountainous regions, but living so far from basic services has long been arduous for local people. Michael Shapiro, Travel, "In remote Nepal, new roads bring opportunity—and conflict," 30 Dec. 2020 The 90-minute climb is arduous, but the backcountry ski back down is rewarding. Adam H. Graham, WSJ, "A Swiss Alps Hotel Frozen in Time," 10 Dec. 2020 There’s no doubt that this recovery is going to be more arduous. Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, Town & Country, "How Sex and the City Helped New York Recover After 9/11," 1 Dec. 2020 According to Four Paws, very few adult elephants have ever been relocated by plane, so preparations were arduous. NBC News, "'World's loneliest elephant' Kavaan arrives in Cambodia with help from Cher," 30 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arduous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arduous

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for arduous

Latin arduus high, steep, difficult; akin to Old Irish ard high

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Time Traveler for arduous Time Traveler

The first known use of arduous was in 1549

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Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arduous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for arduous



English Language Learners Definition of arduous

: very difficult


ar·​du·​ous | \ ˈär-jə-wəs How to pronounce arduous (audio) \

Kids Definition of arduous

: difficult sense 1 an arduous climb

Other Words from arduous

arduously adverb working arduously

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Comments on arduous

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