9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[hur-kyuh-lee-uh n, hur-kyoo-lee-uh n] /ˌhɜr kyəˈli ən, hɜrˈkyu li ən/
requiring the great strength of a Hercules; very hard to perform:
Digging the tunnel was a herculean task.
having enormous strength, courage, or size.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to Hercules or his labors.
Origin of herculean
1590-1600; < Latin Hercule(us) of, belonging to Hercules + -an
1. prodigious, arduous, onerous, formidable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for herculean
  • 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.
  • The herculean efforts of staff and volunteers have created order in the landscape, and the plants are growing nicely.
  • Modeling the pinned quanta is certainly a herculean task.
  • It had been a two-day herculean task to get to the truth.
  • By dint of their herculean effort, and thanks to favorable river conditions, they managed to pull the huge structure free.
  • His whole philosophy was a herculean treading upon toes.
  • We do not attempt what would be a herculean task of testing and comparing everything that is available.
British Dictionary definitions for herculean


requiring tremendous effort, strength, etc: a herculean task
(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



1590s, from Hercules + -an.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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