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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for arduousness
Historical Examples
  • They vary in arduousness: all would be marked "heavy work" in a job specification.

    Steel Charles Rumford Walker
  • They know the arduousness of life, which is a lesson we must all learn sooner or later.

    The Half-Hearted John Buchan
  • No one has rightly entered on the office without being deeply impressed by its greatness, arduousness, and responsibility.

  • They scarcely shrink from any business on account of its magnitude, its arduousness, or its hazard.

    Thoughts on Missions

    Sheldon Dibble
  • Though not comparing with the arduousness of field service, our duties were by no means slight.

  • The task of the Charming Lass was delightful in its simplicity, but fearful in its arduousness.

    The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams
  • This is done by making the hours of labor in different trades to differ according to their arduousness.

    Looking Backward Edward Bellamy
  • I am no Mr. Stanley; and the length, the difficulties, the arduousness of the labour appalled me.

    Essays in Little Andrew Lang
British Dictionary definitions for arduousness


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 arduousness



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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