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 Workers had finished the arduous annual grape harvest, which involved working 60-hour weeks and overnight shifts under floodlights. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump Organization fires more undocumented workers - a year after its use of illegal labor was revealed," 31 Dec. 2019 Using the right tools and proper techniques can make keeping your wood stove going much less arduous. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "The Best Ways to Keep Your Wood Stove Stoked," 22 Dec. 2019 Helicopters were now widespread, obviating the need for arduous and dangerous ascents. The Economist, "Death in the Alps," 20 Dec. 2019 The looming subtext of the Patriots’ arduous road to Super Bowl LIV is that this could be the end of the road for the Belichick-Brady partnership and the NFL’s undying dynasty., "Patriots face a tough road ahead to keep the dynasty rolling - The Boston Globe," 31 Dec. 2019 In the 1980s — just as the USSR is beginning its arduous descent into the dustbin of history — two married KGB spies (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) set up shop in a suburb outside Washington, D.C. Tom Gliatto,, "The Best TV Shows of the Decade, from Game of Thrones to Stranger Things," 23 Dec. 2019 For most people, the wait for that recognizable song is a long one; for anyone sitting down in a movie theater, the wait is slightly less long—the film runs two hours—but no less arduous. Tyler Coates, Wired, "Cats Is as Terrible as the Internet Guessed It Might Be," 19 Dec. 2019 Combining their duplex with the new apartment proved nearly as arduous an undertaking as their initial travels across the river. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "A Brooklyn Triplex Is Transformed Into a Light-Filled Haven," 18 Dec. 2019 Many consider his last arduous fight for justice to be leading an impeachment inquiry about President Donald Trump as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Disney star Cameron Boyce dies at age 20: 9 notable people who passed in 2019," 17 Dec. 2019

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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Arduous.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 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

Comments on arduous

What made you want to look up arduous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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