back·​break·​ing | \ ˈbak-ˌbrā-kiŋ How to pronounce backbreaking (audio) \

Definition of backbreaking

: extremely arduous, exhausting, or demoralizing backbreaking labor backbreaking rents

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Other Words from backbreaking

backbreaker \ ˈbak-​ˌbrā-​kər How to pronounce backbreaker (audio) \ noun

Examples of backbreaking in a Sentence

modern machinery has significantly eased the backbreaking work of farming

Recent Examples on the Web

During the sawmill days of summer and the backbreaking task of winter logging, lumberjacks may find their work a chore and a bore. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019 With Warriors Cleveland has continued to keep pace with Golden State, not letting what could be a backbreaking play, like Nick Young managing to score off an inbound pass with just 1.5 seconds left on the shot clock, break their spirit. Benjamin Hoffman And Marc Stein, New York Times, "N.B.A. Finals: Warriors Survive Superman’s Best Punch in Game 1," 1 June 2018 Tiny homes are popular, especially because clearing larger lots is such a backbreaking process: Aside from having to gouge out holes for septic systems, homeowners must constantly battle back the jungle that closes in, fire ants in tow. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "It will be months before lava from Hawaii volcano can be removed from neighborhoods," 17 May 2018 For decades, agriculture in California has relied on immigrant workers, many of them here without legal status, for its most backbreaking tasks., "Today: A Dirty Dozen Takeaways From That Trump Book," 4 Jan. 2018 But groundbreaking science can come at a backbreaking price. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "The First FDA-Approved Gene Therapy Can Cure a Type of Blindness—But May Cost $1 Million," 19 Dec. 2017 Performed a cappella, the songs spin tales of mythologically mean prison guards, and loves and lives lost, and the backbreaking purgatory of unendingly repetitive physical tasks. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘The B-Side’ Is an Extraordinary Masterclass in Listening," 31 Oct. 2017 The backbreaking restoration work earns him sympathy, as does his first exposure to the slashing winds of the region’s infamous mistral. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "The Latest and Greatest in Crime Fiction," 29 Sep. 2017 On fourth and 1, though, Dorance Armstrong jumped offside, giving the Mountaineers a first down that led to a backbreaking touchdown two plays later. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "West Virginia 56, KU 34: Key moments, players and grades," 23 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backbreaking.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of backbreaking

1766, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for backbreaking

The first known use of backbreaking was in 1766

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More Definitions for backbreaking



English Language Learners Definition of backbreaking

: involving very difficult physical work or effort

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Comments on backbreaking

What made you want to look up backbreaking? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

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