Sis·​y·​phus ˈsi-sə-fəs How to pronounce Sisyphus (audio)
: a legendary king of Corinth condemned eternally to repeatedly roll a heavy rock up a hill in Hades only to have it roll down again as it nears the top

Examples of Sisyphus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Every time Sisyphus neared the crest, the rock rolled back down to the bottom. Bryan West, USA TODAY, 23 Apr. 2024 Surviving birds, making their way back to the roof, got caught and tunnelled again; think Sisyphus but with bullets. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 24 Oct. 2023 In a compelling essay, the French existentialist Albert Camus argued that Sisyphus' defiant embrace of his fate transformed his labors into a source of meaning — and even joy. William Falk, The Week, 2 Sep. 2023 Paul would be some form of Sisyphus pushing the boulder up a hill in the underworld, and perhaps Danny is the reason why the boulder keeps coming down. Max Gao, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 Apr. 2023 The Candle Has Been Burnt At Both Ends As the myth of Sisyphus reveals, enduring suffering begets an unrelenting toll. David Walcott, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2023 The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus (Vintage: $15) 9. The California Independent Booksellers Alliance, Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 2023 Kevin Hayden, the Sisyphus of Suffolk County, says his people will keep pushing the boulder that is gun violence up the city on a hill. Globe Columnist,, 21 Mar. 2023 The Sisyphus Session adds mental toughness to that mix. Mario Fraioli, Outside Online, 24 Sep. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Sisyphus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, from Greek Sisyphos

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Sisyphus was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near Sisyphus

Cite this Entry

“Sisyphus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

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