A Word A Day : Arduous

Saturday, 9th February 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : orjoo-ess


1. requiring hard work or continuous physical effort

2. very difficult to traverse, endure, or overcome

3. taxing to the utmost, testing powers of endurance

4. characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion

5. steep or demanding


From Latin arduus, high, steep


backbreaking, ball-buster, burdensome, exhausting, fatiguing, formidable, gruelling, harsh, heavy, labored, laborious, murder, onerous, painful, punishing, rigorous, rough, severe, strenuous, taxing, tiring, toilsome, tough, troublesome, trying, uphill

Grueling means characterized by physical effort to the point of exhaustion.

Gruesome means shockingly repellent, inspiring horror.


easy, facile, motivating, painless, simple

Contextual Examples:

• Clearing the pasture was arduous work.

• Only we undertook the arduous work of preparing a Dictionary of the English Language.

• The task was an arduous one and required the better part of a month, though he built but one small room.

• From the cursory view here taken, it must clearly appear to have been an arduous part.

• She puts into her pocket more than a third of the profits, in defiance of my most arduous exertions to prevent her.

Related Words:

arduously : Adjective

arduousness : Noun

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