[ahr-joo-uhs or, esp. British, ahr-dyoo-]


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 formsar·du·ous·ly, adverbar·du·ous·ness, nounsu·per·ar·du·ous, adjectivesu·per·ar·du·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·ar·du·ous·ness, nounun·ar·du·ous, adjectiveun·ar·du·ous·ly, adverbun·ar·du·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for arduous

Antonyms for arduous

1. easy. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arduousness

Historical Examples of arduousness

  • They vary in arduousness: all would be marked "heavy work" in a job specification.


    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.

British Dictionary definitions for arduousness



requiring great physical or mental effort; difficult to accomplish; strenuous
hard to endure; harsharduous conditions
hard to overcome or surmount; steep or difficultan arduous track
Derived Formsarduously, adverbarduousness, noun

Word Origin for arduous

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

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