Herculean task

Herculean task
also, Herculean effort

Meaning | Synonyms

  • a task requiring huge amounts of physical strength
  • the activity taking up a lot of energy or effort
  • a tough job
  • requires power to achieve

Example Sentences

  1. It will be a Herculean task to get through to the quarter-finals, but this untested team is up for the challenge.
  2. The construction crew saw the amount of heavy digging work ahead of them and realised it was going to be a Herculean task.
  3. It is going to be a Herculean task for the new government to stabilise the economy in its current state.
  4. It was a Herculean effort for him to lift the suitcase into the car, but he managed it eventually after four attempts.
  5. She had to clean her son's bedroom and what a Herculean task that was.
  6. It was a Herculean task for me, but I tried my best.
  7. During the pandemic - wearing a mask for hours was a Herculean task.
  8. It seemed like it would be a Herculean task to defeat them.
  9. After a long vacation - it's a herculean task to get back to work.
  10. Choosing a topic for a speech can seem a herculean task with so many options.


A Herculean Task requires superhuman amounts of physical strength or mental effort in honour of the Greek God Hercules. The word Herculean describes Hercules himself and he is famous for his strength and labours in the Greek myths.

Hercules (known to the Greeks as Heracles) was given 12 labours that he had to complete to appease Hera (essentially for being born to Zeus and someone other than Hera. Zeus slept around a lot). Each of these tasks was considered to be nigh impossible including defeating the Hydra and retrieving Cerberus from the Underworld (without dying). Thus, an extremely difficult task is often described as "herculean."

This phrase is used regularly in headlines for politics and sport, in particular, when a team or political party has a mammoth undertaking or challenging times ahead of them.


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