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 Like many young talents in the entertainment industry, Winter struggled with grueling hours, frequent bouts of isolation and insecurity, and the dangers of exploitation and even abuse. René A. Guzman,, "‘Bill & Ted’ star Alex Winter talks about his new HBO documentary ‘Showbiz Kids’," 10 July 2020 Company members typically face their most grueling schedule during the spring season, starting class just after 10 a.m., followed by several hours of rehearsals and eight performances a week. Sarah Ewall-wice, CBS News, "Pointe at the kitchen counter and more: How ballet dancers are adapting amid a pandemic," 5 July 2020 Practices for Koshien, as the tournament is known, are year-round, highly regimented and grueling. Greg Hanlon,, "Japanese Culture Examined Through Baseball Traditions in Koshien Documentary, Airing on ESPN," 29 June 2020 On their most grueling tour, the Beatles circumnavigate the globe in a week. Washington Post, "Style Invitational Week 1391: ‘Covid’-free zone!," 2 July 2020 Faced with those grueling facts, this week's layoffs suggest many British companies chose the most unpopular of options: lay off staff in acknowledgement that the furlough plan was only delaying the inevitable. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "The U.K. has an ambitious plan to prevent mass layoffs. What’s with the latest firing spree then?," 2 July 2020 After the grueling psychological effects of months under lockdown, a few hours watching a favorite team could do wonders. Stephen Collinson With Caitlin Hu, CNN, "So much for the West's warnings -- China's going to do what China's going to do," 30 June 2020 Endurance athlete Corey Cappelloni once ran six days through the Sahara Desert in what’s considered the most grueling foot race on Earth. USA TODAY, "Marathon man, Veep visit, mask mandates: News from around our 50 states," 26 June 2020 But the recommendation came after a grueling four-hour discussion with Aldrete that left two Common Council members — Khalif Rainey and Chantia Lewis — wanting more time to gather information. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Committee recommends reappointing Aldrete as director of Fire and Police Commission," 25 June 2020

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

Time Traveler for grueling

Time Traveler

The first known use of grueling was in 1852

See more words from the same year

Statistics for grueling

Last Updated

19 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grueling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for grueling


How to pronounce grueling (audio)

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!