adjective ar·du·ous \ ˈär-jə-wəs , -dyu̇- , -jü-əs \
Updated on: 15 Feb 2018

Definition of arduous

1 a : 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





Examples of arduous in a Sentence

  1. 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 PerrottetSmithsonianJuly 2008
  2. As yoga classes go, this is not an arduous one, but the students don't know that. —Richard CorlissTime23 Apr. 2001
  3. 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 TaylorAmerican Colonies2000
  4. He went through a long and arduous training program.

  5. an arduous journey across miles of desert

Recent Examples of arduous from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of arduous

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

ARDUOUS Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of arduous for English Language Learners

  • : very difficult

ARDUOUS Defined for Kids


adjective ar·du·ous \ ˈär-jə-wəs \

Definition of arduous for Students

: difficult 1
  • an arduous climb


  • working arduously

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having a quality expressive of sadness

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