[ stren-yoo-uhs ]
/ ˈstrɛn yu əs /


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

Nearby words

  1. strength,
  2. strengthen,
  3. strengthless,
  4. strengthlessly,
  5. strenuosity,
  6. strenuously,
  7. strep,
  8. strep throat,
  9. strephon,
  10. strephosymbolia

Origin of strenuous

1590–1600; < Latin strēnuus; see -ous

Related forms

Synonym study

3. See active. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for strenuous

British Dictionary definitions for strenuous


/ (ˈstrɛnjʊəs) /


requiring or involving the use of great energy or effort
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 strenuous



"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