View synonyms for herculean


[ hur-kyuh-lee-uhn, hur-kyoo-lee-uhn ]


  1. requiring the great strength of a Hercules; very hard to perform:

    Digging the tunnel was a herculean task.

    Synonyms: formidable, onerous, arduous, prodigious

  2. having enormous strength, courage, or size.
  3. (initial capital letter) of or relating to Hercules or his labors.


/ ˌhɜːkjʊˈliːən /


  1. requiring tremendous effort, strength, etc

    a herculean task

  2. sometimes capital resembling Hercules in strength, courage, etc

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Word History and Origins

Origin of herculean1

1590–1600; < Latin Hercule ( us ) of, belonging to Hercules + -an

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Example Sentences

The main conclusion is that a startling number of these athletes, who are presumably performing herculean feats in their training, are falling way short of their sleep goals.

It’s already a herculean task, and allows brains to literally link to a computer.

So, this was a herculean effort that has gone on all the time trying to do the vaccine studies for coronavirus disease, which we were also incredibly successful in.

Although slots are being made available now, it may be too little, too late for such a herculean task.

From Quartz

I mean, once you get a surge start happening, then it takes a herculean effort to turn it around.

For women with ADHD conforming to these problematic standards is a herculean task.

Those versions of the story present a Herculean drama of man versus nature.

It goes back to the Greeks and the idea of sport as some sort of Herculean sacrifice without personal enrichment.

Now even the scaled-down agreement is proving a herculean task.

Tangling with the ancients in this way takes a certain Herculean arrogance.

She comprehended at a glance his herculean abilities, and the important aid he could render the Republican cause.

My thoughts had never depicted such a herculean and rude specimen of humanity.

It was a complete breakdown, pitiful from its contrast with the man's herculean physique and fine, if contracted, features.

Between these Herculean shoulders rose a neck of which the muscles stood out like cords.

No boisterous revelry—all seemed to sleep innocent and calm in the moonlight after the day of herculean toil.