For example, Starting a new business requires a lot of work.

What would be an adjective in: Starting a new business is _.

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, tchrist, Edwin Ashworth, choster, Ellie Kesselman Aug 4 '14 at 6:22

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  • You could say time-consuming but I think something such as a major commitment fits better. The perfect adjective isn't always available. – Spehro Pefhany Aug 3 '14 at 17:00
  • Hectic might fit well. – Manish Giri Aug 3 '14 at 17:14
  • 3
    Taxing, arduous, demanding, laborious, onerous,... This is Too Broad and POB – FumbleFingers Aug 3 '14 at 19:05
  • as a German native speaker, I often look for a "is" phrase like yours (because we use such phrases a lot in German). But I have come to learn that looking for an "is"-equivalent in English might often not be the best fit. Does it have to be a is-phrase? Why not just "requires a lot of work" like in your first sentence? (BTW @Ben I was not referring to your comment. Just noticed that you mention "German" and so do I - it's a coincidence) – chiccodoro Aug 4 '14 at 6:16

Consider challenging

Calling for full use of one's abilities or resources in a difficult but stimulating effort [American Heritage Dictionary]

Alternatives are burdensome, onerous, and arduous, but all of those have somewhat negative tones.



1.) Made with, or requiring, great labor, pains, or diligence.


"Characterized by or involving toil; laborious or fatiguing."


2.) tending to exhaust or drain, as resources or strength: a protracted, exhaustive siege of illness.


1.) characterized by vigorous exertion, as action, efforts, life, etc.: a strenuous afternoon of hunting.

2.) demanding or requiring vigorous exertion; laborious: To think deeply is a strenuous task.

3.) vigorous, energetic, or zealously active: a strenuous person; a strenuous intellect.


  • labor intensive (already mentioned below)
  • a chore
  • requires perseverance
  • requires persistence
  • requires dedication
  • requires exertion

If you want a single word for "a lot of work", consider "onerous" or "laborious", though I'm not sure "a lot of work" captures all the relevant obstacles to starting a business.


Try this one: labor-intensive.


In terms of relationships, the word for “requires a lot of work” is needy, meaning “Desiring constant affirmation, lacking in self confidence”. Wiktionary gives the following example sentence:

It's emotionally exhausting to be around her because she's so needy.


Gruelling comes to mind. It is defined as “extremely tiring and demanding”.

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