gru·​el·​ing ˈgrü-ə-liŋ How to pronounce grueling (audio)
variants or gruelling
: trying or taxing to the point of exhaustion : punishing
a grueling race
gruelingly adverb

Examples of grueling in a Sentence

running a marathon is grueling cutting diamonds can be grueling work
Recent Examples on the Web Underpinning the union drive were the poor working conditions visual effects professionals have endured on Marvel productions, including a lack of pay equity, grueling hours, understaffing, excessive requests for changes, and unfair turnaround times. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 13 Sep. 2023 From our correspondents In northeastern Ukraine, the Russians are coming — or maybe setting a diversion: Ukrainian troops in the south are pressing a grueling counteroffensive against Russian forces that are dug into defensive positions. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 Cameron has been sharing clips from his workouts to Instagram, taking on grueling training sessions. Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 7 Sep. 2023 Prior to the pandemic, some families and nutrition experts saw the aid as critical yet inadequate, complicated by the fact that WIC requires poor Americans to submit to a grueling review process involving in-person visits. Tony Romm, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Sep. 2023 Lane Kiffin’s dog, Juice, appears ready for the grueling SEC schedule. Mark Heim |, al, 3 Sep. 2023 Platooning might be good in the grueling dog days of the regular season, but in the playoffs, most great teams and coaches narrow their starting lineups. Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2023 Kitchens are a notoriously difficult environment to be immersed in, and more and more people are opting out of the low pay, grueling hours, and verbal abuse that have come to define back-of-house work. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 5 Sep. 2023 In her refreshingly humane account of her own grueling battle with chronic illness, O’Rourke recognizes, and thereby alleviates, the awful incommunicability of it all. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


from present participle of obsolete gruel to exhaust, punish, from gruel, noun

First Known Use

1852, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of grueling was in 1852

Dictionary Entries Near grueling

Cite this Entry

“Grueling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants or gruelling
: requiring extreme effort : exhausting

More from Merriam-Webster on grueling

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