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 Considering what turned out to be an arduous grant process, this level of sophistication and hard-line approach suggests (at least to us) that a difficult path for loan applicants may lay ahead. Alan Levin,, "U.S. Airlines’ Lifeline Is Enough to Limp Along, But Little More," 7 May 2020 Some landlords and small business owners were skeptical that the tax would fix the larger factors at the root of the vacancies, such as the high cost of labor and rent, arduous permitting processes and restrictions on chain stores. Shwanika Narayan,, "SF supervisor wants to delay vacancy tax as coronavirus keeps stores shut," 28 Apr. 2020 Waters gives herself a steep hill to climb in that regard, and the journey can occasionally feel arduous. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Hot Stuff: New April romances are escapist and revolutionary," 4 May 2020 The days are long, the hours erratic, the conditions arduous. NBC News, "Moratorium on travel may devastate U.K. fruit and vegetable growers," 2 May 2020 But there are plenty of other positive outcomes that make the often arduous journey of pursuing athletics to the highest degree worthwhile. Rob Kleifield, azcentral, "Shifting landscape of developmental soccer positions Phoenix Rising FC to be Arizona leader," 2 May 2020 The months of arduous paperwork and uncertainty continued through Mr. Rose’s adjustment to a weekly commute between Staten Island and Washington, and a summer of congressional investigations. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "Votes, Deployment and Now Parenthood in the Middle of a Pandemic," 2 May 2020 And thus, our long, arduous, chicken parm journey began. Molly Baz, Bon Appétit, "How Molly Baz Developed BA’s Best Chicken Parm—and Lived to Tell the Tale," 1 May 2020 But the 2008 financial crisis showed that passing a large stimulus bill, even in a time of extraordinary need, is an arduous undertaking. Joshua Green,, "Coronavirus Hits at the Worst Possible Time for Trump’s Reelection," 1 May 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

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Arduous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for arduous


How to pronounce arduous (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on arduous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arduous

Spanish Central: Translation of arduous

Nglish: Translation of arduous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arduous for Arabic Speakers

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