requiring great exertion; laborious; difficult:
an arduous undertaking.
requiring or using much energy and vigor; strenuous:
making an arduous effort.
hard to climb; steep:
an arduous path up the hill.
hard to endure; full of hardships; severe:
an arduous winter.
Contemporary Examples

His successors will face the arduous task of fleshing out the content of this “pivot.”
Hats Off to Tom Donilon Leslie H. Gelb June 4, 2013

Few whites believed that blacks had the right stuff to tackle tricky and arduous long-distance flights.
Red Tails Overlooks the Story of America’s First Black Pilots Marc Wortman January 15, 2012

Once the budget has been creatively handled, a director still faces the arduous task of casting.
The Art of Smutty Spoofs: Porn Parodies Aren’t a Joke Anymore Aurora Snow March 14, 2014

The marriage talks fell apart on Oct. 18, after weeks of frenetic courtship and arduous negotiations.
Inside The New Beast Howard Kurtz November 11, 2010

Rose had the most arduous journey, since his symptoms came while he was in Syria interviewing President Bashar al-Assad.
Barbara Walters Opens Up About Her Heart Surgery Howard Kurtz February 1, 2011

Historical Examples

There were at least two sergeants, he claimed furiously, whose turn it should have been to go on this arduous mission.
Last Words Stephen Crane

Every thought was bent to attain the end, no labour was deemed to arduous.
The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook

To hunt them out of their native lairs and bind them to arduous and ignominious servitude was hardly to be thought of.
The Planters of Colonial Virginia Thomas J. Wertenbaker

How arduous and delicate they were may be readily understood.
The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII) John Greenleaf Whittier

It was near the close of day, when she retired from the presence of the garrison, to seek repose from her arduous duties.
The Rivals of Acadia Harriet Vaughan Cheney

requiring great physical or mental effort; difficult to accomplish; strenuous
hard to endure; harsh: arduous conditions
hard to overcome or surmount; steep or difficult: an arduous track

1530s, “hard to accomplish, difficult to do,” from Latin arduus “high, steep,” also figuratively, “difficult,” from PIE root *eredh- “to grow, high” (see ortho-). Literal sense of “high, steep, difficult to climb,” attested in English from 1709.


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