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2017 Word of the Year

heavy going

1.
Also,heavy weather.
2.
Difficult, as in Tom found calculus heavy going, or It's going to be heavy weather for us from here on. The first expression originally referred to a road or path that was hard to negotiate; the variant alludes to bad weather at sea. [ Mid-1800s ]
3.
make heavy weather of. Make hard work or a fuss over something, especially unnecessarily. For example, They made heavy weather of the differences between their proposals, which actually seemed much alike. This use of weather likens a commotion to a storm. [ Mid-1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for heavy going
Historical Examples
  • The snow was deep and the sledge teams had heavy going at first.

  • It was heavy going in that thin air; but she held to it determinedly.

    The Silent Barrier Louis Tracy
  • Exhausted by the heavy going of the marsh, he had dropped for cover and rest.

  • About midnight, with the heavy going, he began to show signs of exhaustion.

    Three Times and Out Nellie L. McClung
  • It was heavy going, for at every step our feet sank deep in the leaves.

    The Man with the Clubfoot Valentine Williams
  • Allowance of course had to be made for the weariness of the men and the heavy going.

  • Underfoot, the sand made a treacherous pathway; carriers and men alike found it heavy going.

    Despoilers of the Golden Empire Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Now when they had found—and they had the luck to find directly—he revelled in the heavy going of a big ploughed field.

    Second String Anthony Hope
  • Bromley made a brave attempt to keep going, but the mud and heavy going soon told on him, and he begged us to go on and leave him.

    Three Times and Out Nellie L. McClung
  • The walk to Pontresina is the coldest and darkest of winter walks, and the snow made it heavy going.

    The Dark Tower Phyllis Bottome

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