The opposite of "quick". For a example:

Washing the dishes is a quick task


Writing an essay is a _ task

I'm looking for an adjective (so no "task that requires focus"), preferably one that isn't opinionated about the task itself, so no "onerous" for example.

  • 2
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 17:48
  • 2
    pains-taking? .
    – Owain
    Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 18:20
  • 1
    Possibly "exacting" ?
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 18:37
  • 2
    You're going to run into problems with this. When you say the opposite of quick, what time frame are you looking at? Hours, days, weeks, months, years, or a lifetime are all possibilities. Depending on what you mean, different words could be used. While some could apply to many of those time periods, lifelong (for instance) would be something specific. Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 21:33
  • 1
    Opposite of quick? Try a thesaurus.
    – user323578
    Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 0:20

6 Answers 6


Maybe the word 'Lengthy' can fit your essay sentence.

  • 1
    Exactly! But I guess, OP is looking for something else.
    – Ubi.B
    Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 4:42

As in: TFD

  • Writing an essay is a time-consuming task.

taking up much time


Writing an essay is an engrossing task

Cambridge Dictionary: adj. very interesting and requiring all your attention

  • doesnt that sound a little gross?
    – vectory
    Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 4:34
  • @vectory not without a gross misunderstanding. Commented Aug 31, 2019 at 21:07


  1. Thorough; to a great degree; with intensity.

Secondly, I continue to base my concepts on intensive study of a limited suite of collections, rather than superficial study of every packet that comes to hand.

  1. Demanding; requiring a great amount of work etc.

This job is difficult because it is so labour-intensive.

  1. Highly concentrated.

I took a three-day intensive course in finance.

  1. (obsolete) Stretched; allowing intension, or increase of degree; that can be intensified.

  2. Characterized by persistence; intent; assiduous.

The polysemy displayed by the definitions shows some senses that fit very well, others that don't. I'm inclined to think that it would be better with a qualifying noun attribute for clarity

Washing the dishes is not a labor-intensive task

Writing an essay is a time-intensive task.

Yet, the metonym of both senses is not in my humble opinion intensive. Writing a stackexchange answer for example should rarely be an intensive task. We up-vote extensive answers, but discourage trivial drivel.

Between extent/intent, intention/extension, the sense that does fit the wanted meaning is not readily recognizable from the stem(s). Yet, a literal translation to Ger an-strengend confirms my idea, where streng obviously compares to strength, tension. Eventually the prefix does occlude the idea. Compare instead tedious, strainious (in which, I do note so frequently, s- may be tried as a prefix ca. ex- "out" itself, compare "utmost" for the intensifying sense of "out").



Merriam-Webster definition:

1 : drawn out in length especially of time | an extended visit

Some more examples:

  • In high school, exams include multiple choice, short answer, and "extended response."

  • Breastfeeding beyond age two-ish is known as "extended breastfeeding."

In your example sentence, involved would also fit.


If it's a task that requires a lot of concentration, there is a number of adjectives which might fit your sentence. Most of them, however, imply interest and/or pleasure in doing this work:

  • absorbing: intensely interesting; engrossing.
  • preoccupying: dominating or engrossing the mind of (someone) to the exclusion of other thoughts
  • gripping: firmly holding the attention or interest; exciting.
  • riveting: completely engrossing; compelling.
  • enthralling: capturing and holding one's attention; fascinating.

By a long shot, I'd say "meditative" is possible in this context (as in, relating to or absorbed in meditation or considered thought.)

By an even longer shot...

  • painstaking: done with or employing great care and thoroughness.

  • meticulous: showing great attention to detail; very careful and precise.

  • scrupulous: careful, thorough, and extremely attentive to details

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