stren·​u·​ous | \ ˈstren-yə-wəs How to pronounce strenuous (audio) \

Definition of strenuous

1a : vigorously active : energetic
b : fervent, zealous his most strenuous supporters
2 : marked by or calling for energy or stamina : arduous a strenuous hike

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from strenuous

strenuosity \ ˌstren-​yə-​ˈwä-​sə-​tē How to pronounce strenuosity (audio) \ noun
strenuously \ ˈstren-​yə-​wəs-​lē How to pronounce strenuously (audio) \ adverb
strenuousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for strenuous

vigorous, energetic, strenuous, lusty, nervous mean having or showing great vitality and force. vigorous further implies showing no signs of depletion or diminishing of freshness or robustness. as vigorous as a youth half his age energetic suggests a capacity for intense activity. an energetic campaigner strenuous suggests a preference for coping with the arduous or the challenging. the strenuous life on an oil rig lusty implies exuberant energy and capacity for enjoyment. a lusty appetite for life nervous suggests especially the forcibleness and sustained effectiveness resulting from mental vigor. full of nervous energy

Examples of strenuous in a Sentence

Avoid all strenuous exercise until the sprain heals. Today has been a very strenuous day. The proposal has faced strenuous opposition.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Made of steel, it is built is to bulldoze through the rockiest of soils to make planting seeds, grass plugs, small annuals, and so on a quicker and less strenuous activity. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "This Gardening Tool Helps You Digs Holes In Seconds," 21 Nov. 2019 He is expected to seek to forge a much closer relationship to Trump than May, who made strenuous efforts to court the President and developed a respectful relationship but never really bonded with him politically. Nick Thompson, CNN, "Boris Johnson refuses to rule out firing ambassador who criticized Trump," 9 July 2019 Censorship of the Hong Kong protests follows strenuous efforts about two weeks ago to erase all mention of Tiananmen, commemorated at a mass candlelight vigil in Hong Kong and reported on widely around the world. Robyn Dixon,, "The ‘Great Firewall’: China censors videos, social media posts of Hong Kong protests," 18 June 2019 The White House’s strenuous efforts to paper over the rift caused by the Khashoggi affair and the closeness of WWE’s principal shareholders to President Trump would make cancellation an overtly political statement. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "WWE’s Saudi Dilemma," 16 Oct. 2018 An example of what this distinction looks like in practice is Verdery’s strenuous effort, having been the victim of Romanian state surveillance, to keep her personal judgments at some remove from her attempts to fathom the workings of that system. James Ryerson, New York Times, "Should Anthropologists Judge the People They Study?," 13 Apr. 2018 It was named for a wagon-train pioneer, John Settle, but a transcription error, somewhere along the line, became permanent, despite his descendants’ strenuous efforts to correct it. Alec Scott, Sunset Magazine, "Lake Effect: On Reviving a Family Tradition with Your Closest Friends," 22 Jan. 2018 His ousting came after a strenuous attempt to hold on to power. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Bolivia’s Evo Morales Wants to Stay in the Game," 20 Nov. 2019 On Wednesday, an aide also confirmed that Bloomberg has applied to appear on the ballot in Tennessee, a state with strenuous requirements that require candidates to obtain signatures from at least 2,500 registered Democrats in the state. Ed O'keefe, CBS News, "Michael Bloomberg won't file for New Hampshire primary," 13 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'strenuous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of strenuous

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for strenuous

Latin strenuus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about strenuous

Time Traveler for strenuous

Time Traveler

The first known use of strenuous was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Statistics for strenuous

Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Strenuous.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for strenuous


How to pronounce strenuous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of strenuous

: requiring or showing great energy and effort


stren·​u·​ous | \ ˈstren-yə-wəs How to pronounce strenuous (audio) \

Kids Definition of strenuous

1 : showing or requiring much energy and effort a strenuous climb
2 : very active : energetic He leads a strenuous life.

Other Words from strenuous

strenuously adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on strenuous

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


to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!