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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 arduously
Historical Examples
  • It was as if every morning that ship had been arduously explored with—with toothbrushes.

    Falk Joseph Conrad
  • She studied music, arduously playing accompaniments for her mother.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • In the conventional significance of the word her life was hardly toilsome, but it was none the less most arduously occupied.

    Thirty Howard Vincent O'Brien
  • "You have been working most arduously, Senor Carson," said Quesada.

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • Gifted with a naturally fine organ, he has cultivated it arduously and to excellent purpose.

    Vocal Mastery Harriette Brower
  • Bill was arduously cooking his dinner, bending over the fire, and toiling like a blacksmith.

  • For where joy reigns on every side, to hunt for it arduously, or amidst pomp and circumstances, is to lose it.

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
  • As he saw it, society would grow better only through the painfully slow and arduously painful processes of evolution.

    The Night-Born Jack London
  • arduously, but without avail, she searched through all the drawers and cupboards of the Rattle-Pane kitchen.

    Peace on Earth, Good-will to Dogs Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
  • The reputation we have been building up so arduously for years has been swept away in two short hours.

    Following the Color Line Ray Stannard Baker
British Dictionary definitions for arduously


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 arduously



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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