gru·​el·​ing | \ ˈgrü-ə-liŋ How to pronounce grueling (audio) \
variants: or gruelling

Definition of grueling

: trying or taxing to the point of exhaustion : punishing a grueling race

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from grueling

gruelingly \ ˈgrü-​ə-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce gruelingly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of grueling in a Sentence

running a marathon is grueling cutting diamonds can be grueling work

Recent Examples on the Web

Thousands of migrants on the Mexico side of the border are living in crowded tent cities in Tijuana after a grueling weekslong journey through Mexico on foot and hitching rides with the goal of applying for asylum in the U.S. Marko Alvarez, The Seattle Times, "Border patrol: More families cross illegally to San Diego," 4 Dec. 2018 Runners map out detailed routes in hopes of joining the few dozen who have ever completed the grueling race. Nancy Coleman, WSJ, "‘Every Minute Matters’: Disney Diehards Race to Hit 49 Rides in One Day," 7 Aug. 2018 And so begins a grueling 41-day journey adrift on a sailboat with broken sails across more than 1,000 of open ocean., "Adrift Review: A Brutal Tale Of Female Survival," 31 May 2018 After a grueling, monthlong journey through Mexico, the first eight women and children from a caravan of several hundred Central American migrants were allowed to enter a U.S. immigration post on Monday night. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Migrant Caravan Enters Trump’s Hostile Immigration Maze," 1 May 2018 Alongside the grueling musical schedule, Cooper also co-wrote the movie's script, directed the film, and co-wrote several songs for the soundtrack. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Does Bradley Cooper Really Sing and Play Guitar in A Star Is Born?," 9 Feb. 2019 Busch withstood multiple surgeries, went through a grueling rehabilitation program and missed only 11 races. Dan Gelston,, "For Kyle Busch, there’s no place where he can’t win," 3 June 2018 Trying to fill even a fraction of that gap with energy bars sounded nearly as grueling as the competition itself. Michael Easter, Outside Online, "Peanut Butter and Jelly Should Fuel Your Next Adventure," 9 Apr. 2018 The next morning, the photo and the quote, such as they were, made the front page of many of the largest newspapers in Japan, a small taste of victory in a long and grueling race. Dave Sheinin,, "'Every day is the craziest': Inside the Japanese press corps tailing Shohei Ohtani," 12 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of grueling

1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for grueling

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grueling

Dictionary Entries near grueling








Statistics for grueling

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grueling

The first known use of grueling was in 1852

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for grueling



English Language Learners Definition of grueling

: very difficult : requiring great effort


variants: or gruelling \ ˈgrü-​ə-​liŋ \

Kids Definition of grueling

: calling for great effort a grueling job

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on grueling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grueling

Spanish Central: Translation of grueling

Nglish: Translation of grueling for Spanish Speakers

Comments on grueling

What made you want to look up grueling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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