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 Shortly after crossing into the U.S., Mario told CBS News that the family's long, arduous journey was worth it. Natacha Larnaud, CBS News, "Kidnapped, freezing and scared: Families recount their harrowing journeys across the border," 7 May 2021 Many of the mummies on display had made an arduous journey to Saturday's parade after being exhumed from the Deir El-Bahari cachette in Luxor's West Bank in 1881. Hatem Maher, ABC News, "Egyptian mummies pass through Cairo in parade worthy of royals," 3 Apr. 2021 Despite being visually captivating thanks to its rocky outcroppings and jagged spires, very few visitors were willing to make the arduous journey through southern Colorado to see this natural spectacle. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, "You Can Still Visit These Six Former National Parks," 22 Mar. 2021 The Boilermakers were hoping for a first-round breather after their arduous journey through the Big Ten. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "March Madness watchability rankings: Which NCAA Tournament games on Friday are best to watch?," 19 Mar. 2021 Some 138,000 migrants had embarked on the arduous journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2019, but this number decreased drastically to 37,000 last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Ahmed Al-haj And Samy Magdy, Star Tribune, "Migrant community: Fire at Yemen hangar on Sunday killed 44," 10 Mar. 2021 The poor become poorer When the Indian government announced a nationwide lockdown on March 24, 2020, millions of migrant workers began an arduous journey back home—on foot. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "The stock market vs. the hunger index: The painful display of India’s inequality during the pandemic," 18 Jan. 2021 Michael’s body has accepted the cells and is on track for a full recovery after an arduous journey of illness and fear. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: Yale soccer player Sarah Jordan celebrates ‘Gift of life’ with California man she saved by donating stem cells for transplant," 2 Dec. 2020 But arduous work lay ahead with the counting of the record volume of mail-in ballots, especially in states like Pennsylvania that do not start counting absentee ballots until Election Day and are likely to take days to complete the task. Stephanie Saul, New York Times, "At the End of a Chaotic Campaign, an Election Day That Defied the Worst Fears," 3 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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arduous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 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

Comments on arduous

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