- Causing or involving travail; laborious; toilsome.
“We have a travailous hike planned for tomorrow, so make sure to get plenty of rest tonight.”
“A home sauna might be a travailous DIY project, but the outcome should be well worth it.”
“My son complains about doing yard work, but gardening isn’t travailous for me.”
Latin, late 14th century
Why this word?
“Travail” refers to a painful or laborious effort, so it follows that the adjective form, “travailous,” would describe something that causes or involves intense effort. There is one notable difference between the parts of speech: A second definition of the noun “travail” is “labor pains” (as in giving birth), and the definition of the adjective “travailous” is not specifically linked to that process. However, talk to people who have been through travails, and you will likely hear stories of their travailous experiences.
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