Difficult work or progress, as in This bill faces tough sledding in the legislature. This idiom transfers the route on which a sled can travel to other kinds of progress toward a goal. It was first recorded as hard sledding in 1839. For the antonym, see easy sledding.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use tough sledding in a sentence
He also writes academic medical articles that are at times pretty tough sledding.
"tough sledding," he wheezed, as he sat upon his barrow handles and wiped his brow with a bandanna handkerchief.The Pike's Peak Rush | Edwin L. Sabin
It has been pretty tough sledding waiting for the next Australian steamer, but, thank God!Cappy Ricks Retires | Peter B. Kyne
"tough sledding we'd have had with an automobile over those hills," he said.The Foolish Virgin | Thomas Dixon
"It's been pretty tough sledding out there in the mining country," he said.The Easiest Way | Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow