Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of unusual size, power, or difficulty.
  • adjective Of or relating to Hercules.
  • adjective Resembling Hercules.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or relating to Hercules: as, the twelve Herculean labors; the Herculean myth.
  • [cap. or lowercase] Resembling Hercules in size, strength, or courage; appropriate to the attributes of Hercules: as, a herculean athlete; a herculean fist.
  • [cap. or lowercase] Very difficult or dangerous: in allusion to the Herculean labors: as, a herculean task.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Requiring the strength of Hercules; hence, very great, difficult, or dangerous.
  • adjective Having extraordinary strength or size.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of extraordinary might, power, size, etc.; of or relating to Hercules in size or strength.
  • adjective Requiring a huge amount of work; of extraordinary difficulty.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective extremely difficult; requiring the strength of a Hercules
  • adjective displaying superhuman strength or power

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

see Hercules

Examples

  • Moses; and he wrote not merely amid the cares and duties of a great public office, with other labors which might be called Herculean, but even amid pains of disease and the infirmities of age, -- when rest, to most people, is the greatest boon and solace of their lives.

    Beacon Lights of History

  • Thus concerns for these foreign components are merely to prove Musharraf as a patriotic and large hearted Pakistani who could be a part of track II diplomacy but to make Lilliputian Pakistani politicians unmistakable for their so-called Herculean power.

    Bloggers.Pakistan

  • "Herculean" is the word that comes to mind when you think of Harry Reid.

    CNN Transcript Nov 9, 2009

  • To spare CoffeeHousers the details about how our PM is "brimming with ideas" and how he puts in "Herculean" 12-hour days, here's the key passage from towards the end of the article:

    The backtracking begins in earnest

  • Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says it will take a quote, "Herculean" effort to get the voters motivated.

    CNN Transcript Jun 2, 2008

  • (Soundbite of song, "Herculean") Mr. ALBARN: (Singing) And the medicine man is here 24-7.

    Albarn's The Good, The Bad, and The Queen

  • (Soundbite of song, "Herculean") Mr. ALBARN: (Singing) And the medicine man is here 24-7.

    Albarn's The Good, The Bad, and The Queen

  • I will tell you the tale of my wanderings and of the "Herculean" labors, as I may call them, which I endured only to find at last the oracle irrefutable.

    The Dialogues of Plato, Translated into English with Analyses and Introductions, by B. Jowett.

  • I will tell you the tale of my wanderings and of the 'Herculean' labours, as I may call them, which I endured only to find at last the oracle irrefutable.

    Apology

  • But he credited teams for their "Herculean" efforts in selling tickets and sponsorships in a tough economy, and gate revenue is a portion of the "basketball-related income" formula that helps determine the cap.

    Homepage

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