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arduous (adj) (an activity) involving a great effort and strength; strenuous.
Work which requires great effort and involves a lot of hard work is arduous work. A journey across a desert can be arduous, because, one has to make a lot of effort and spend a lot of energy to make the journey. Farming in the olden days was arduous because one had to toil manually to work in the fields. Now, all that is done by machines like the tractor.
- The climb up the steep mountain was arduous, but once the mountaineer reached the top, he forgot all his trouble in the happy feeling that he had achieved his life time ambition.
- The arduous nature of the work on the ranch left him so exhausted at the end of the day that he hardly had the mood for any other work.