1 : involving, imposing, or constituting a burden : troublesome
2 : having legal obligations that outweigh the advantages
Did You Know?
Onerous, which traces back to the Latin onus, meaning "burden," has several synonyms. Like onerous, burdensome, oppressive, and exacting all refer to something which imposes a hardship of some kind. Onerous stresses a sense of laboriousness and heaviness, especially because something is distasteful ("the onerous task of cleaning up the mess"). Burdensome suggests something which causes mental as well as physical strain ("the burdensome responsibilities of being a supervisor"). Oppressive implies extreme harshness or severity in what is imposed ("the oppressive tyranny of a police state"). Exacting suggests rigor or sternness rather than tyranny or injustice in the demands made or in the one demanding ("an exacting employer who requires great attention to detail").
"Seems to me that, to be a superfood, a food's got to deliver more than nutrients. It has to be cheap, versatile, good-tasting, not too onerous to prepare and not so perishable that you end up tossing it." — Tamar Haspel, The Oregonian, 7 June 2017
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