drudg·​ery ˈdrəj-rē How to pronounce drudgery (audio)
plural drudgeries
: dull, irksome, and fatiguing work : uninspiring or menial labor
the drudgery of his job
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 And, despite its upbeat sensibilities, Buffett’s songwriting often had a downcast edge that attested to the drudgery of everyday life. Allison Hussey, Pitchfork, 2 Sep. 2023 Can the kitchen, a space so often associated with the drudgery of domestic labor and exploitation, free us from some of those same constraints? Adam Federman, The New Republic, 7 July 2023 Cars the likes of the TF weren't built for interstate drudgery. Brendan McAleer, Car and Driver, 11 Mar. 2023 The actress is a humming and hypnotic presence even in the midst of domestic drudgery, attentive to all but concealing her worries and suspicions, save for a slanted brow or a weighty pause. Hazlitt, 9 Aug. 2023 Luther challenged the prevailing notion that nonreligious or nonpolitical work was drudgery and a punishment from the gods – a view that came from Greco-Roman times. Garrett Potts, Fortune, 12 Sep. 2023 China’s social media-savvy youth have come up with several new terms to describe the drudgery of everyday working life. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune, 1 July 2023 This year’s team will be anything but wearisome, and watching them will be anything but drudgery, and doesn’t that already feel like a cool October breeze cutting through stale summer air? Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2023 While the Rainforest Cafe tour turned into drudgery, the latest road trip video, which clocks in at just under an hour, was essentially a short film documenting the allure of Buffett’svision and Burback’s own surrender to it. Olivia McCormack, Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see drudge entry 1

First Known Use

1550, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of drudgery was in 1550

Dictionary Entries Near drudgery

Cite this Entry

“Drudgery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drudgery. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


drudg·​ery ˈdrəj-(ə-)rē How to pronounce drudgery (audio)
plural drudgeries
: hard or dull work

More from Merriam-Webster on drudgery

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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