Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Demanding great effort or labor; difficult: "the arduous work of preparing a Dictionary of the English Language” ( Thomas Macaulay).
  • adj. Testing severely the powers of endurance; strenuous: a long, arduous, and exhausting war.
  • adj. Hard to traverse, climb, or surmount. See Synonyms at burdensome, hard.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Needing or using up much energy; testing powers of endurance.
  • adj. burning; ardent
  • adj. this sense) Difficult or exhausting to traverse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Steep and lofty, in a literal sense; hard to climb.
  • adj. Attended with great labor, like the ascending of acclivities; difficult; laborious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Steep, and therefore difficult of ascent; hard to climb.
  • Attended with great labor, like the ascent of acclivities; difficult.
  • Hence—3. Energetic; laborious: said of persons or actions: as, an arduous student;

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

  • adj. characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion; especially physical effort
  • adj. difficult to accomplish; demanding considerable mental effort and skill
  • adj. taxing to the utmost; testing powers of endurance

Etymologies

From Latin arduus, high, steep.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin arduus ("lofty, high, steep, hard to reach, difficult, laborious"), akin to Irish ard ("high"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • U.S. power officials now say this outage is contained and what they call the arduous process of restoring systems is underway and we have gotten some confirmation of that from our reporters in New York City.

    CNN Transcript Aug 14, 2003

  • Backers of the confirmation measure say they want to ease what they call an arduous chore for midlevel nominees trying to navigate the Senate in a supercharged partisan era.

    NYT > Global Home

  • Hassan said his resignation was not caused by any divisions in his economic team but insisted "the reasons behind not wanting to renew his contract is his age and the length of time he has spent in this post which he described as arduous," according to the statement.

    Reuters: Top News

  • Her mother, and even Lexi, gave him wide berth, and the long trip was conducted in arduous silence.

    Archive 2004-08-01

  • As this is also the moment when the state begins to shovel out generous pensions, more than 600 Greek professions somehow managed to get themselves classified as arduous: hairdressers, radio announcers, waiters, musicians and on and on and on.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • As this is also the moment when the state begins to shovel out generous pensions, more than 600 Greek professions somehow managed to get themselves classified as arduous: hairdressers, radio announcers, waiters, musicians, and on and on and on.

    chump

  • Benedict chose a word -- "arduous" -- that applies both to the church's presence in the region, and the problems that will be considered by the synod.

    Vatican Focuses On Troubles in Middle East

  • Leaders of the groups have been meeting for about three months in a planning process that some participants called arduous, debating everything from the name of the coalition to what the branding and logo should look like.

    Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [130] -- Who Is This "They" Obama Speaks Of?

  • Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger recalls the arduous process of writing his second dissertation, a tightly written work on St Bonaventure's theology of history.

    Here we are?

  • Depending on whether they want to make it as 14th century society where girls were wrongfully identified as witches, or she's actually a witch and the ride into the mountains become much more arduous, which is actually the better way to go about it instead of some road trip on horses.

    Another Boring Photo of Nic Cage in Season of the Witch « FirstShowing.net

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