February 10, 2013
onerous (adjective)
\AH-nuh-rus\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: being difficult or unpleasant to do or deal with
How do you use it?
Once they made all the arrangements for equipment and help, the friends found that cleaning up the old house was not such an onerous task after all.
Are you a word wiz?

It shouldn't be difficult or unpleasant to answer today's question. Which one of these words do you think is a synonym of "onerous"?

Congratulations if you had no difficulty picking B. Both "burdensome" and "onerous" involve imposing hardship. "Onerous" refers to something that is heavy and that requires hard effort, especially because it is unpleasant (as, "the onerous job of picking up the spilled trash"), while "burdensome" suggests causing mental as well as physical strain (as in, "burdensome responsibilities"). "Oppressive," another synonym, implies extreme harshness or severity in what is imposed (such as, "the oppressive tyranny of the government"). "Exacting," on the other hand, implies rigor or sternness rather than tyranny or injustice in the demands made or in the one demanding (as, "an exacting employer").
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