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SAT vocabulary: onerous

A girl hauling bricks. Used to illustrate the vocab word "onerous"
“Oh I’ve been working on the railroad! All the live-long day!”

What does onerous mean? Read below for the definition.

Quick vocab quiz for the word onerous

First, before you read about the word onerous, try this quick vocab quiz:

onerous most nearly means

(A) basic
(B) singular
(C) exhaustive
(D) unpopular
(E) burdensome

Write your answer down, or just store it in that razor-sharp mind of yours. (If you can’t wait, the answer is below.)

Now let’s learn about the word onerous.

Part of Speech of onerous

onerous is an ADJECTIVE.

Pronunciation onerous

Here’s how to pronounce onerous:

IPA: /ˈoʊ.nə.rəs/

Glossary-style: [OH-nuh-ruhs]

Definition of onerous

onerous means: burdensome, difficult, or tiring (Ex: an onerous task).

Explain more about onerous, please

If something is onerous, it is difficult or tiresome to do. A good synonym of onerous is burdensome (which of course comes from the word burden or load to carry), so it might help to imagine carrying a heavy load of something and how hard that would be to do.

We also sometimes use the word onerous to refer to laws, rules, taxes, and the like. For example, we could say that it’s difficult to open a business in some countries because of onerous laws and regulations.

Example of onerous

Here’s the word onerous used in a sentence:

Few volunteered for the onerous job of cleaning the park after the music festival; picking up innumerable discarded bottles and cups that careless people have discarded is no sane person’s idea of fun.

If you’ve read this far, you’re a great student and will learn vocabulary quickly. You may now check your answer.

Answer to the quick vocab quiz

Answer Click Here to Show the Answer!

By Erin Billy

Founder of TestMagic, Inc. in San Francisco, USA.

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