herculean

[hur-kyuh-lee-uhn, hur-kyoo-lee-uhn]
adjective
1.
requiring the great strength of a Hercules; very hard to perform: Digging the tunnel was a herculean task.
2.
having enormous strength, courage, or size.
3.
(initial capital letter) of or pertaining to Hercules or his labors.

Origin:
1590–1600; < Latin Hercule(us) of, belonging to Hercules + -an


1. prodigious, arduous, onerous, formidable.
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World English Dictionary
herculean (ˌhɜːkjʊˈliːən)
 
adj
1.  requiring tremendous effort, strength, etc: a herculean task
2.  (sometimes capital) resembling Hercules in strength, courage, etc

Hercules, Heracles or Herakles1 (ˈhɜːkjʊˌliːz)
 
n
1.  classical myth Also called: Alcides a hero noted for his great strength, courage, and for the performance of twelve immense labours
2.  a man of outstanding strength or size
 
Heracles, Heracles or Herakles1
 
n
 
Herakles, Heracles or Herakles1
 
n
 
Hercu'lean, Heracles or Herakles1
 
adj
 
Hera'clean, Heracles or Herakles1
 
adj
 
Hera'klean, Heracles or Herakles1
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

herculean
1593, from Hercules (c.1369, as Ercules), from L. Hercles, from Gk. Herakles name of a famous hero, son of Zeus and Alcmene; lit. "Glory (kleos) of Hera," from Hera + -kles (see Damocles).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Given the difficulty of the conditions under which they had to work, their
  efforts were herculean.
Perhaps a future follow-up article for this magazine might be how this
  herculean task was envisioned and completed.
Accomplishing that took more than herculean efforts.
And for me to show up at work and perform takes a herculean effort each day.
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