drudg·​ery | \ ˈdrəj-rē How to pronounce drudgery (audio) , ˈdrə-jə-rē\
plural drudgeries

Definition of drudgery

: dull, irksome, and fatiguing work : uninspiring or menial labor the drudgery of his job

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Synonyms & Antonyms for drudgery


donkeywork, drudge, fatigue, grind, labor, moil, slavery, sweat, toil, travail


fun, play

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Choose the Right Synonym for drudgery

work, labor, travail, toil, drudgery, grind mean activity involving effort or exertion. work may imply activity of body, of mind, of a machine, or of a natural force. too tired to do any work labor applies to physical or intellectual work involving great and often strenuous exertion. farmers demanding fair compensation for their labor travail is bookish for labor involving pain or suffering. years of travail were lost when the house burned toil implies prolonged and fatiguing labor. his lot would be years of back-breaking toil drudgery suggests dull and irksome labor. an editorial job with a good deal of drudgery grind implies labor exhausting to mind or body. the grind of the assembly line

Examples of drudgery in a Sentence

He hated the drudgery of his job. in the “good old days” household servants led lives filled with much drudgery and little pleasure

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2015, Naveen Krishna founded the company intending to eliminate the drudgery faced by manual rickshaw pullers prevalent in northern India. Kartik Chandramouli, Quartz India, "How former rickshaw pullers are steering a green revolution on Indian roads," 7 Aug. 2019 Andy tails along to take pictures of patients and to escape the drudgery of his life, and from this premise, Alverson spins a surreal yarn about a country at its most self-confident and horrifying. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Mountain Is a Strange and Alienating Satire," 28 July 2019 Football training camp is drudgery under a pitiless summer sun. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo: ‘I’m good to go, finally,’ as training camp nears," 10 July 2019 Few players of his caliber were ever so dedicated to the drudgery of the game. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Spurs Assistant Tim Duncan Always Had the Teaching Gene," 23 July 2019 With no time spent on daily drudgery, the entrepreneurs devote their days to personal and professional growth. San Diego Union-Tribune, "These six millennials in Mission Hills make millions each year — but they share a house?," 21 June 2019 Her books delve into struggles with careers and relationships, dreams and drudgery, the female obsession with weight and body image, and have always been served with a comfort-food side dish of popular culture. Patty Rhule, USA TODAY, "Jennifer Weiner's 'Mrs. Everything' explores broken dreams in the era of women's lib," 10 June 2019 Where there’s a will (to avoid the drudgery of laundry day), there’s absolutely a way. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "Here’s How Often You Should Really Be Washing Your Sheets," 23 Feb. 2019 The household drudgery doesn’t necessarily let up on the other side. Donna Bulseco, WSJ, "The Secret to Scoring a Vacation Home That’s (Practically) Free," 11 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'drudgery.' 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 drudgery

1550, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for drudgery

see drudge entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near drudgery







drug dealer

Statistics for drudgery

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for drudgery

The first known use of drudgery was in 1550

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More Definitions for drudgery



English Language Learners Definition of drudgery

: boring, difficult, or unpleasant work


drudg·​ery | \ ˈdrə-jə-rē How to pronounce drudgery (audio) \
plural drudgeries

Kids Definition of drudgery

: hard or dull work

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More from Merriam-Webster on drudgery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drudgery

Spanish Central: Translation of drudgery

Nglish: Translation of drudgery for Spanish Speakers

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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