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Definition of 'Herculean'

Extremely difficult or requiring a great deal of strength and effort.
"The rebuilding of the city after the disaster was a Herculean task."

Detailed Meaning of 'Herculean'

The word is derived from the name of the ancient Greek hero, Hercules, who was known for his immense strength and endurance. Thus, the term Herculean is used to describe tasks or challenges that are similar to those that Hercules faced in his legendary adventures. For example, a task that requires lifting heavy weights, completing a marathon or climbing a mountain would be considered as Herculean task. The term can also be used to describe mental or emotional efforts that are similarly demanding, such as overcoming a personal challenge or achieving a difficult goal. In general, Herculean implies something that requires a significant amount of effort and determination to accomplish, and it's often used to describe something that is considered as an achievement or a great accomplishment.


Examples of 'Herculean' in a Sentence

1. Completing the marathon was a Herculean feat.
2. The project's complexity demanded a Herculean effort.
3. Facing the storm was a Herculean challenge for the sailors.
4. Building the pyramid required Herculean labor.
5. Overcoming the obstacle course was a Herculean task.
6. Solving the puzzle demanded a Herculean intellect.

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Origins & Etymology of 'Herculean'

The adjective 'Herculean' draws its etymology from Greek mythology and the legendary hero Hercules, also known as Heracles in Greek. Hercules was renowned for his incredible strength and his numerous feats of bravery and endurance, often involving the overcoming of seemingly impossible tasks or challenges. The term 'Herculean' was coined in English to describe tasks or endeavors that require extraordinary strength, effort, or determination, much like the legendary labors of Hercules. This etymology highlights the association between the adjective 'Herculean' and the remarkable physical and mental feats attributed to the mythical hero, emphasizing the idea of facing challenges of exceptional difficulty and magnitude.

How to pronounce herculean (audio)


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