back·​break·​ing ˈbak-ˌbrā-kiŋ How to pronounce backbreaking (audio)
: extremely arduous, exhausting, or demoralizing
backbreaking labor
backbreaking rents
backbreaker noun

Examples of backbreaking in a Sentence

modern machinery has significantly eased the backbreaking work of farming
Recent Examples on the Web Still, there are many women who are interested in staying porters, a job that would benefit significantly from adequate health care, improved living conditions, and additional tools for easier transport so that the work isn’t so backbreaking. Laura Kiniry, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 Feb. 2022 Its constant work building a personal brand and then effectively monetizing that brand to enable the work to be a full-time job is even more backbreaking. Keith Bendes, Forbes, 6 May 2022 The trials pay better than dishwashing, require no skills and are far less backbreaking than loading and unloading boxes. Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2021 The Kings were leading 80-60 at the time and led by as many as 26 in the game, dealing the Blazers’ playoff chase a backbreaking blow. oregonlive, 8 Mar. 2020 Plus, large shovels hold a backbreaking amount of snow. James Jackson, Popular Mechanics, 18 Sep. 2019 Drawing on unprecedented research, Chang shows how these men performed some of the most dangerous, most backbreaking work to build out the railroad from California, yet received virtually no credit for their contributions. Chris Fuchs, NBC News, 5 Nov. 2019 Spraying fields with pesticides and fertilizers, the drones -- which can cover up to 60 acres a day -- could boost crop yields, save time and make backbreaking field work much easier, according to Bug Away. Sarah Lazarus and Dan Tham, CNN, 3 July 2019 Facing the possibility of major defections, a roster implosion or a backbreaking salary cap position, Brand tap-danced his way through the minefield in impressive fashion. Ben Golliver, The Denver Post, 3 July 2019 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1766, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of backbreaking was in 1766

Dictionary Entries Near backbreaking

Cite this Entry

“Backbreaking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!