herculean

Things that take great strength — like throwing a boulder or finishing math homework — are sometimes called herculean in honor of the Greek god Hercules.

Just like Thursday comes from the Scandinavian god Thor, the god Hercules gave us this word. Herculean was first used to describe Hercules himself, and later applied to anyone or anything who showed similar strength. Herculean can be used in several ways. You can make a herculean effort to accomplish a herculean task. Any job that is a piece of cake — an easy job that that anyone could do — is totally non-herculean. Save this word for jobs that really deserve the label.

Definitions of herculean
1

adj extremely difficult; requiring the strength of a Hercules

“a herculean task”
Synonyms:
difficult, hard
not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure

adj displaying superhuman strength or power

herculean exertions”
Synonyms:
powerful
superhuman
above or beyond the human or demanding more than human power or endurance

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.