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1. A difficult task that requires a lot of time and energy to complete. It's going to be a long haul before I have this car up and running. It needs a lot of work.
2. A long distance or journey. Jill knows that obtaining a PhD is going to be tough, but she said she's in it for the long haul. It's a long haul to Fresno, but if we take turns driving it shouldn't be so bad.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. A considerable distance over which something must travel or be carried. For example, It's a long haul from my house to yours. This usage dates from the late 1800s, as does the antonym, short haul, as in The movers charge just as much for a short haul as for a long one.
2. A considerable length of time, an extended period, as in This investment is one for the long haul. It is often put as over the long haul, as in Over the long haul we needn't worry about production. [c. 1930] Also see in the long run.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
a long haul
COMMON If you say a task or course of action will be a long haul, you mean that it will need a lot of time and effort. Note: A haul in the following expressions means a journey. Repairing the economy will be a long haul. The bank and its president face a long haul to rebuild their reputation. Note: If you say that you are in something for the long haul, you mean that you intend to continue doing it until it is finished. This project isn't a short-term thing. We're in it for the long haul.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
a long ˈhaul(informal) a long and difficult task or journey: It was a long haul doing the degree part-time, but it was worth it. ♢ They started on the long haul back to the camp.
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