Use the adjective arduous to describe an activity that takes a lot of effort. Writing all those college essays and filling out the applications is an arduous process!

Arduous was first used in English to mean "steep" or "difficult to climb." If you're an outdoorsman, hiking up a mountain is a lot of fun, but if you're a couch potato, it's an arduous trek. Today, the word can be used figuratively for something that is difficult or takes a lot of work. If you spend an arduous week studying for your final exams, you'll do well because you've worked really hard!

Definitions of arduous
  1. adjective
    characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion; especially physical effort
    “worked their arduous way up the mining valley”
    synonyms: backbreaking, grueling, gruelling, hard, heavy, laborious, operose, punishing, toilsome
    requiring great physical effort
  2. adjective
    difficult to accomplish; demanding considerable mental effort and skill
    “the arduous work of preparing a dictionary”
    difficult, hard
    not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure
  3. adjective
    taxing to the utmost; testing powers of endurance
    “"your willingness after these six arduous days to remain here"- F.D.Roosevelt”
    synonyms: straining, strenuous
    requiring great physical effort
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