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
References in periodicals archive ?
Spun off from Apple Computer in 1990 with Porat, 48, at the helm, Sunnyvale, CA-based General Magic has a tough row to hoe as it seeks to set the global software standard in automated, interpersonal communications.
The current generation of American ballet choreographers has a tough row to hoe, not only in large urban areas but also in regional vineyards like Portland.
"Anybody--magazines or broadcasters--that relies on advertising as a revenue source, had a tough row to hoe last year."
It's a tough row to hoe, given the slowdown in global tourism, soft real estate, and overcapacity.