busy·​work | \ ˈbi-zē-ˌwərk How to pronounce busywork (audio) \

Definition of busywork

: work that usually appears productive or of intrinsic value but actually only keeps one occupied

Examples of busywork in a Sentence

Students were given busywork for the last few minutes of class.
Recent Examples on the Web Focusing on the necessary set of tools, particularly with a platform approach that can gather multiple inputs on one dashboard, empowers your analysts with information, rather than burdens them with the busywork of checking a million outputs. Forbes, 1 June 2022 However, the less enjoyable parts include manually deduplicating alerts, addressing similar cases and too much busywork and noise. Eoin Hinchy, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 For example, workers were less distracted by pointless meetings and open office settings and were able to focus on meaningful tasks rather than being burdened by busywork. Christina Maslach, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2022 Leaders can make work more engaging by eliminating bureaucratic practices, minimizing busywork, raising performance expectations and creating opportunities for employees to broaden their skills through challenging work assignments. Mark Settle, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2022 The map makes the game look like it's filled with open-world busywork. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 6 Dec. 2021 Reserve the rest of the day for more mundane busywork. Pia Silva, Forbes, 1 Nov. 2021 Many of my clients have found, in their new work-from-home worlds, that in past years, much of their time has been spent on unnecessary activity, from busywork to social media scrolling. John Duffy, CNN, 10 Oct. 2021 As assistants described it, much of the job was taken up by an Olympic level of busywork geared toward not setting Rudin off — whether that meant getting his food order exactly right or making sure a document was handed to him in the right font. Benjamin Wallace, Vulture, 4 Aug. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of busywork

1893, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for busywork

Time Traveler

The first known use of busywork was in 1893

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Dictionary Entries Near busywork

busy oneself



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Statistics for busywork

Last Updated

9 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Busywork.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/busywork. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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