a tough row to hoe


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tough row to hoe

A particularly difficult or problematic task, situation, or set of circumstances to contend with or confront. Immigration reform was one of the new president's primary campaign promises, but it will likely prove a tough row to hoe given the deep divisions in congress. I know finishing this thesis will be a tough row to hoe, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge.
See also: hoe, row, tough

a tough row to hoe

Informal
A difficult situation to endure.
See also: hoe, row, tough