Etymology
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laborious (adj.)
late 14c., "hard-working, industrious," from Old French laborios "arduous, wearisome; hard-working" (12c., Modern French laborieux), from Latin laboriosus "toilsome, wearisome, troublesome," also "inclined to labor, industrious," from labor "toil, exertion" (see labor (n.)). Meaning "costing much labor, burdensome" is from early 15c.; meaning "resulting from hard work" is mid-15c. Related: Laboriousness.
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laboriously (adv.)
early 15c., "slowly and with difficulty," from laborious + -ly (2). Meaning "earnestly, strongly" is from c. 1500.
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operose (adj.)

"laborious, tedious, involving much labor," 1670s, from Latin operosus "taking great pains, laborious, active, industrious," from opus (genitive operis) "work" (from PIE root *op- "to work, produce in abundance"). Related: Operosely; operoseness; operosity (1620s).

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Amelia 
fem. proper name, Latin, but of Germanic origin, literally "laborious" (cognates: Old Norse ama "to trouble"); the name was assimilated with Roman gens name Aemilia.
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plod (v.)

"trudge, travel or work slowly and perseveringly; go with steady and laborious diligence," 1560s, of uncertain origin, perhaps imitative of the sound of walking heavily or slowly. Related: Plodded; plodder; plodding.

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painstaking 

1550s, paynes taking, "assiduous and careful labor"  (n.), 1690s, "characterized by close or conscientious application, laborious and careful" (adj.), from plural of pain (n.) in the "exertion, effort" sense + present participle of take (v.). Related: Painstakingly.

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difficulty (n.)
Origin and meaning of difficulty

late 14c., "want of easiness, that quality which makes something laborious or perplexing," from Anglo-French difficulté and directly from Latin difficultatem (nominative difficultas) "difficulty, distress, poverty," from difficilis "hard," from dis- "not, away from" (see dis-) + facilis "easy to do," from facere "to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). From 1610s as "that which is difficult." Related: Difficulties.

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effort (n.)

late 15c., "laborious attempt, strenuous exertion," from French effort, from Old French esforz "force, impetuosity, strength, power," verbal noun from esforcier "force out, exert oneself," from Vulgar Latin *exfortiare "to show strength" (source of Italian sforza), from Latin ex "out" (see ex-) + Latin fortis "strong" (see fort).

Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt. [José Ortega y Gasset, writing of Goethe in Partisan Review, vol. xvi, part ii, 1949]

Related: Efforts "voluntary exertion," also "result of exertion."

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ascetic (adj.)
1640s, "practicing rigorous self-denial as a religious exercise," from Latinized form of Greek asketikos "rigorously self-disciplined, laborious," from asketes "monk, hermit," earlier "skilled worker, one who practices an art or trade," especially "athlete, one in training for the arena," from askein "to exercise, train," especially "to train for athletic competition, practice gymnastics, exercise," perhaps originally "to fashion material, embellish or refine material."

The Greek word was applied by the stoics to the controlling of the appetites and passions as the path to virtue and was picked up from them by the early Christians. Figurative sense of "unduly strict or austere" also is from 1640s. Related: Ascetical (1610s).
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delve (v.)

Middle English delven, from Old English delfan "to dig, turn up with a spade or other tool, excavate" (class III strong verb; past tense dealf, past participle dolfen), common West Germanic (cognates: Old Saxon delban, Dutch delven, Middle High German telben "to dig"). This is perhaps from a PIE root *dhelbh- (source also of Lithuanian delba "crowbar," Russian dolbit', Czech dlabati, Polish dłubać "to chisel;" Russian dolotó, Czech dlato, Polish dłuto "chisel").

Weak inflections emerged 14c.-16c. Figurative sense of "carry on laborious or continued research" is from mid-15c. Related: Delved; delving; delver.

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