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[ahr-joo-uh s or, esp. British, ahr-dyoo-] /ˈɑr dʒu əs or, esp. British, ˈɑr dyu-/
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.
Origin of arduous
1530-40; < Latin arduus erect, steep, laborious; see -ous
Related forms
arduously, adverb
arduousness, noun
superarduous, adjective
superarduously, adverb
superarduousness, noun
unarduous, adjective
unarduously, adverb
unarduousness, noun
1. hard, toilsome, onerous, wearisome, burdensome, exhausting.
1. easy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for arduous
  • I've had fantastic experiences with much smaller-scale, yet still arduous, research projects.
  • But becoming a principal dancer is arduous even for someone as talented as she.
  • Her feet are steadfast, all the arduous way.
  • He's been developing them in arduous daily workouts for as far back as he can remember.
  • But the breathtaking view from the top compensates for the arduous climb.
  • Better than anyone, they know what a long, arduous journey it is.
  • It's a seven-part series that takes you around the world to see the arduous journeys taken by some species.
  • Studying proteins has long been a slow, arduous process.
  • As such, it is a milepost of significant psychological import on the arduous journey from winter to spring.
  • As a result of these poor ergonomic conditions, dental appointments were long, arduous affairs.
British Dictionary definitions for arduous


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
Derived Forms
arduously, adverb
arduousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin arduus steep, difficult
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for arduous

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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