1. characterized by vigorous exertion, as action, efforts, life, etc.: a strenuous afternoon of hunting.
  2. demanding or requiring vigorous exertion; laborious: To think deeply is a strenuous task.
  3. vigorous, energetic, or zealously active: a strenuous person; a strenuous intellect.

Origin of strenuous

1590–1600; < Latin strēnuus; see -ous
Related formsstren·u·ous·ly, adverbstren·u·ous·ness, stren·u·os·i·ty [stren-yoo-os-i-tee] /ˌstrɛn yuˈɒs ɪ ti/, nounqua·si-stren·u·ous, adjectivequa·si-stren·u·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·stren·u·ous, adjectivesu·per·stren·u·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·stren·u·ous·ness, nounun·stren·u·ous, adjectiveun·stren·u·ous·ly, adverbun·stren·u·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for strenuous

Synonym study

3. See active.

Antonyms for strenuous

2. easy. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for strenuosity

Historical Examples of strenuosity

  • They laughed at her strenuosity and good spirits and the coffee was served.

    The Brand

    Therese Broderick

  • Atween times, we must rest and relax, and repair the waste that strenuosity makes.


    Col. Wm. C. Hunter

  • And his lazy acquiescence in life was peaceful and inviting to my own strenuosity.

    The Heart's Kingdom

    Maria Thompson Daviess

  • And that night their friendly hearts would have ached if they had been able to get a vision of his strenuosity.

    Blue-grass and Broadway

    Maria Thompson Daviess

  • The building is rather modern in appearance, suggesting comfort rather than strenuosity.

British Dictionary definitions for strenuosity


  1. requiring or involving the use of great energy or effort
  2. characterized by great activity, effort, or endeavour
Derived Formsstrenuosity (ˌstrɛnjʊˈɒsɪtɪ) or strenuousness, nounstrenuously, adverb

Word Origin for strenuous

C16: from Latin strēnuus brisk, vigorous
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 strenuosity



"characterized by great effort," 1590s, from Latin strenuus "active, vigorous, keen." Probably cognate with Greek strenes, strenos "keen, strong," strenos "arrogance, eager desire," Old English stierne "hard, severe, keen" (see stern (adj.)). Mocked by Ben Jonson as a pedantic neologism in "Poetaster" (1601). Sense of "requiring much energy" is first recorded 1670s. Related: Strenuously; strenuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper