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 That set both families on an arduous and circuitous path — one biased toward wealthier families who have the money to hire pricey lawyers and the time and savvy to do extensive research on how private placement works. USA Today, "Two boys with the same disability tried to get help. The rich student got it quickly. The poor student did not.," 9 Feb. 2020 Stroke recovery is an arduous, months-long process that is frustrating even at the best of times. Sam Greszes, Washington Post, "Waiting and watching: How brutally difficult Mario levels helped me through my mom’s stroke recovery," 20 Jan. 2020 The process turns out to be long and rather arduous, but rewarding in the end. cleveland, "Avon Lake Fire Department rolls out first new fire engine in 10 years," 16 Dec. 2019 The audition process for all the Honors Ensembles is arduous, and these students deserve a lot of credit for passing the audition. Tracy Trobridge,, "Glenwood/Glenelg/Dayton: Christmas parade in Lisbon helps fight hunger," 11 Dec. 2019 The effort to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use has been long, slow and arduous, but in recent years, 11 states have taken that step. Steve Chapman,, "Column: In Chicago suburbs, legal marijuana meets the not-in-my-backyard crowd," 20 Nov. 2019 Over the years through arduous, on-the-ground expeditions and aerial reconnaissance, the department’s field agents have confirmed the existence of 28 isolated tribes in Brazil and are investigating the presence of up to one hundred others. Scott Wallace, National Geographic, "Death stalks the Amazon as tribes and their defenders come under attack," 15 Nov. 2019 With those teams plus struggling Arkansas and a Louisville program coming off a 2-10 season on the schedule, Kentucky’s path to a bowl game doesn't appear arduous, even with a backup quarterback. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Mark Stoops: Terry Wilson's injury does not change goals for Kentucky football," 8 Sep. 2019 Gary Washburn | Sunday Basketball Notes The process is long and arduous, and eventually for the parents of Carsen Edwards, very rewarding. Gary Washburn,, "Celtics’ Carsen Edwards got here thanks to a team effort," 31 Aug. 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

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The first known use of arduous was in 1549

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Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Arduous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 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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