tough sledding


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.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.