tough/hard/long row to hoe, a

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a hard row to hoe

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

a long 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 long row to hoe, given the deep divisions in congress. I know finishing this thesis will be a long row to hoe, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge.
See also: hoe, long, row, to

a 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, to, tough
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

tough row to hoe

 and hard row to hoe
Fig. a difficult task to carry out; a heavy set of burdens. It's a tough row to hoe, but hoe it you will. This is not an easy task. This is a hard row to hoe.
See also: hoe, row, to, tough
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tough row to hoe

Also, hard row to hoe. A difficult course, hard work to accomplish, as in He knew he'd have a tough row to hoe by running against this popular incumbent. [First half of 1800s]
See also: hoe, row, to, tough
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.

tough row to hoe

n. a difficult task to carry out; a heavy set of burdens. This is not an easy task. This is a tough row to hoe.
See also: hoe, row, to, tough
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

tough/hard/long row to hoe, a

A difficult course to follow; hard work to accomplish. This metaphor comes from nineteenth-century America, when most people lived in rural areas and cultivated at least some land. David Crockett used it in his Tour to the North and Down East (1835): “I never opposed Andrew Jackson for the sake of popularity. I knew it was a hard row to hoe; but I stood up to the rack.”
See also: hard, long, row, to, tough
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"While the plaintiff is getting the money he was due, it was a long, long row to hoe," said Hannon.
While startup communities around the world are making real progress toward becoming more welcoming and open to entrepreneurs of every stripe and background, there is still a long row to hoe before the battle is won.
Mr Watt certainly had a very long row to hoe, but efficient management ran hand-inhand with increased public support, and, whenever the funds permitted, investments were made in ground and team improvements."
Garnering publicity and earning media coverage is a long row to hoe for every organization.
Though the use of SEPA will doubtless grow as the kinks get worked out, Bornecque has a long row to hoe. [TM]
I think the cultural embeddedness of the anti-capitalistic mentality on the left is so deep that it's a long row to hoe.
Waterford and Wedgwood, numbers six and 10, respectively, have a long row to hoe. Parent company Waterford Wedgwood PLC purchased rival Royal Doulton this past winter, despite its considerable financial woes; it posted a $172 million loss for the year in June.
The pic will have a long row to hoe in foreign box office, DVDs, and sales to TV before Bing sees a return on his investment.
"It's going to be a long row to hoe, but to put it simply, this is a legal and political healing process that has to happen between all the three parties.
It's our credibility among our readers, viewers and listeners, and we've got a very long row to hoe on that score.
The talented, experienced ethnic theater artist has a long row to hoe with white and ethnic arts institutions.
Teaching semantics may seem like a long row to hoe or five miles of mud road but with experience it don't take long to curry a pony and have as much fun as a barrel of monkeys.
Maybe a new administration will help generate that spirit, but it will clearly have a long row to hoe.