I'm looking for a word for a difficult situation or process that can seem meaningless at times.

Example: Unlike Beowulf, the Secular movement did not defeat its enemy (Faith) in a glorious battle but through a ____ dialog through the ages.

Words rejected:
Meaningless - the subject is not meaningless.

Feudal - feudalism is meaningless.

Trivial - the subject is important/has value and it doesn't express the difficulty of the subject.

  • To comply with the ELU guidelines, can you provide an example sentence where you would use this word. – Gary Oct 25 '17 at 17:25
  • In your edit, is long the word you would substitute for the word you've asked about? – Gary Oct 25 '17 at 17:26
  • Please see the info on word requests. Describe exactly in what context you want to use the word or phrase--generally we want a sample sentence. Specify the criteria you'll use for accepting answers. Detail the research you've already done. List words or phrases you've already considered but rejected, and explain why. Provide information about the connotation, register, and part of speech you are looking for. – MetaEd Oct 25 '17 at 17:30
  • Can you elaborate on why those words were "denied"? (For that matter, what's wrong with meaningless?) – J.R. Oct 25 '17 at 17:48
  • +J.R , Meaningless would not be a good word because the subject is not meaningless and the paper i'm writing basis is that the subject is important – Clifford Hoffman Oct 25 '17 at 17:57

you could go with the angle of lengthy and complex to express difficulty and fruitlessness:

wild-goose chase

1 (figuratively) A futile search, a fruitless errand; a useless and often lengthy pursuit.

I went on a wild-goose chase all over the town looking for that adapter until I discovered they no longer make them.

2 A task whose execution is inordinately complex relative to the value of the outcome.

Diagnosing this software application's problems is a wild-goose chase because it is built in an environment that has poor debugging tools.

If you're looking for a single word - the closest seems to be:


1 :serving no useful purpose :completely ineffective

efforts to convince him were futile

2 :occupied with trifles :frivolous

but it doesn't exactly highlight the difficult nature of any situation as such.

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