9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[on-er-uh s, oh-ner-] /ˈɒn ər əs, ˈoʊ nər-/
burdensome, oppressive, or troublesome; causing hardship:
onerous duties.
having or involving obligations or responsibilities, especially legal ones, that outweigh the advantages:
an onerous agreement.
Origin of onerous
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin onerōsus, equivalent to oner- (stem of onus) burden + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
onerously, adverb
onerousness, onerosity
[oh-nuh-ros-i-tee] /ˌoʊ nəˈrɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
nononerous, adjective
nononerously, adverb
nononerousness, noun
unonerous, adjective
unonerously, adverb
unonerousness, noun
1. heavy, crushing, grievous; irksome, galling. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for onerous
  • There are other powers, too, that could perform this grateful but onerous duty-Times.
  • Rather than the onerous demands put upon them today.
  • Or it can go in and have to obey the onerous requests.
  • As for the rest, in a normal interest rate environment, this would be onerous.
  • Reform plans launched a year ago seek to do two things at once, both onerous.
  • But it also makes sense not to have controls so onerous that your own companies cannot compete with foreign rivals.
  • But solar's improving economics are making this imposition less onerous.
  • And fears about a lurch into deflation, making debt and borrowing costs more onerous in real terms, have receded.
  • In the new global economy, people and firms can flee to other tax jurisdictions rather than paying an onerous tax.
  • The poor have gotten poorer and the rich have gotten richer, even as our taxes have become less onerous.
British Dictionary definitions for onerous


/ˈɒnərəs; ˈəʊ-/
laborious or oppressive
(law) (of a contract, lease, etc) having or involving burdens or obligations that counterbalance or outweigh the advantages
Derived Forms
onerously, adverb
onerousness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin onerōsus burdensome, from onus load
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 onerous

late 14c., from Old French onereus, honereus (14c., Modern French onéreux) and directly from Latin onerosus, from onus (genitive oneris) "burden" (see onus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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