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herculean

[hur-kyuh-lee-uh n, hur-kyoo-lee-uh n] /ˌhɜr kyəˈli ən, hɜrˈkyu li ən/
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 relating to Hercules or his labors.
Origin of herculean
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin Hercule(us) of, belonging to Hercules + -an
Synonyms
1. prodigious, arduous, onerous, formidable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for herculean
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Of herculean strength, she only requires her tiny fist or diminutive foot to rid herself of three or four men.

    Old and New Paris, v. 2 Henry Sutherland Edwards
  • The secretary, a man of herculean build, returned with some of it.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • She was like a lover who has been set a herculean task to accomplish before he may even think of his beloved.

  • Dumollard was a very herculean person—though by no means gigantic.

    The Martian George Du Maurier
  • herculean efforts were immediately made to organize a fifth army to march again upon Napoleon.

British Dictionary definitions for herculean

herculean

/ˌhɜːkjʊˈliːən/
adjective
1.
requiring tremendous effort, strength, etc: a herculean task
2.
(sometimes capital) resembling Hercules in strength, courage, etc
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 herculean

Herculean

adj.

1590s, from Hercules + -an.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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14
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