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



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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 That mechanization was made more expeditious by a new workforce of women, who accepted lower pay, constant supervision, and an endless supply of drudgery. Justin Davidson, Curbed, "New York City Made the Office," 26 Apr. 2021 Her characters longedto escape the drudgery of selfhood and convention. New York Times, "The Many Faces of Patricia Highsmith," 19 Apr. 2021 At the turn of the last millennium, in the post-feminist world where an earlier iteration of Martha Stewart once reigned, places of drudgery, like laundry rooms, became aspirational spaces. New York Times, "Are You Cleaning Enough? Celebrities Want to Help.," 24 Mar. 2021 Show the struggles of being a small business, like the founder shipping out products, or the drudgery of standing in Whole Foods passing old samples for hours. Lisa Curtis, Forbes, "Five Things Your Brand Is Doing Wrong On Instagram," 11 Mar. 2021 No matter how skilled the teacher, and how clever the lesson plans, most kids would find at least some academic work utter drudgery. Elissa Strauss, CNN, "How to remotivate kids for more distant learning," 5 Jan. 2021 Meeting rooms and small private offices will be prioritized in office design that’s geared towards opportunistic utilization rather than daily drudgery. Peter Lane Taylor, Forbes, "Real Estate Was A Catastrophe In 2020. 6 Experts Predict What Comes Next," 2 Mar. 2021 Many families are experiencing this drudgery compounded by distance learning compounded by two-plus weeks of sweet, winter break freedom during which nobody asked anyone to answer a math problem on Zoom. Elissa Strauss, CNN, "How to remotivate kids for more distant learning," 5 Jan. 2021 Lennie didn't get to move away and follow her dreams, and now hangs onto the hope that her boyfriend, Alexander, can strengthen his commitment and help her flee her life of drudgery and stifled opportunities. Malcolm Forbes Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Review: 'The River Within,' by Karen Powell," 18 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for drudgery

Time Traveler

The first known use of drudgery was in 1550

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Statistics for drudgery

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Drudgery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drudgery. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on drudgery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drudgery

Nglish: Translation of drudgery for Spanish Speakers

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