onerous


onerous
onerous, burdensome, oppressive, exacting are comparable when they mean imposing severe trouble, labor, or hardships. All of these terms are applicable to a state of life, its duties or obligations, or to conditions imposed upon a person by that life or by another person; oppressive and exacting are applicable also to persons or agents responsible for these difficulties.
Onerous stresses laboriousness and heaviness but often also implies irksomeness or dis- tastefulness
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the tyranny of a majority might be more onerous than that of a despot— Whitehead

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"What were the conditions?" "Oh, they were not onerous: just to sit at the head of his table now and then"— Wharton

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Burdensome usually implies mental as well as physical strain and often emphasizes the former
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a burdensome tax

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burdensome Government regulations which are a nuisance to everyone— Roosevelt

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the burdensome and invidious job of a formal application to the Board of Trade— Economist

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Oppressive adds to burdensome the implication of extreme harshness or severity; it therefore usually connotes the unendurableness of what is imposed or inflicted, whether by nature or circumstances or by man, or cruelty or tyranny in the one responsible for the impositions or inflictions
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oppressive heat

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oppressive rulers

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there are more ways of coercing a man than by pointing a gun at his head. A pacifist society may be unjust and oppressiveInge

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the women are . . . kind and they mean very well, but sometimes they get very oppressiveCheever

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Exacting, like oppressive, implies severity of demands, but otherwise it differs because it commonly suggests rigor, sternness, or extreme fastidiousness rather than tyranny in the one who demands, or the tremendous care or pains required of the one who satisfies these demands
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an exacting technique

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an exacting employer

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the exacting life of the sea has this advantage over the life of the earth, that its claims are simple and cannot be evaded— Conrad

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the pity of it was that even the least exacting husband should so often desire something more piquant than goodness— Glasgow

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Analogous words: *heavy, weighty, ponderous, cumbrous, cumbersome, hefty: arduous, *hard, difficult

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • onerous — oner·ous / ä nə rəs, ō / adj 1: excessively burdensome or costly 2: involving a return benefit, compensation, or consideration an onerous donation used chiefly in the civil law of Louisiana see also onerous contract at …   Law dictionary

  • onerous — [än′ər əs, ōn′ər əs] adj. [ME < MFr onereus < L onerosus < onus, a load: see ONUS] 1. burdensome; laborious 2. Law involving a legal obligation that equals or exceeds the benefits [onerous lease] onerously adv. onerousness n. SYN.… …   English World dictionary

  • Onerous — On er*ous, a. [L. onerosus, fr. onus, oneris, a load, burden: cf. F. on[ e]reux.] Burdensome; oppressive. Too onerous a solicitude. I. Taylor. [1913 Webster] {Onerous cause} (Scots Law), a good and legal consideration; opposed to {gratuitous}.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • onerous — (adj.) c.1400, from O.Fr. onereus, honereus (14c., Mod.Fr. onéreux), from L. onerosus, from onus (gen. oneris) burden (see ONUS (Cf. onus)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • onerous — [adj] difficult; requiring hard labor arduous, austere, backbreaking, burdensome, crushing, cumbersome, demanding, difficult, distressing, embittering, exacting, excessive, exhausting, exigent, fatiguing, formidable, galling, grave, grinding,… …   New thesaurus

  • onerous — ► ADJECTIVE 1) involving an oppressive amount of effort and difficulty. 2) Law involving heavy obligations. ORIGIN Latin onerosus, from onus burden …   English terms dictionary

  • onerous — adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French honereus, from Latin onerosus, from oner , onus burden; akin to Sanskrit anas cart Date: 14th century 1. involving, imposing, or constituting a burden ; troublesome < an onerous task > 2.… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • onerous — /ownaras/ A contract, lease, share, or other right is said to be onerous when the obligations attaching to it unreasonably counterbalance or exceed the advantage to be derived from it, either absolutely or with reference to the particular… …   Black's law dictionary

  • onerous — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) adj. difficult, troublesome, burdensome, wearing, oppressive. See difficulty.Ant., light, easy. II (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. oppressive, burdensome, heavy, serious, exacting, demanding, galling,… …   English dictionary for students

  • onerous — adjective formal work or responsibility that is onerous is difficult and worrying or makes you tired: an onerous task | onerous duties onerously adverb onerousness noun (U) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English