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

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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

In scorching temperatures and at altitudes as high as 8,360 feet, runners, triathletes, adventure racers and mountaineers from 21 countries and 30 American states will face off in the grueling run from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA. Sam Boyer,, "New resident makes quite an impression: Whit & Whimsey," 12 July 2019 The Crossover went behind the scenes of his grueling schedule that includes serving as a co-host of ESPN's Get Up!, NBA Countdown analyst, and co-host of Jalen & Jacoby. Kaelen Jones,, "'It Don't Stop': Jalen Rose's Work Days Are a Whirlwind," 11 July 2019 The German leader is known for executing a grueling schedule of constant domestic and overseas travel, as well as back-to-back meetings and high-profile events. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "Angela Merkel Suffers Third Shaking Episode in Under a Month," 10 July 2019 Even with a grueling schedule in 110-degree heat, there was downtime on Nelson’s tour bus, where invited cast and crew would gather to smoke weed. Kristen O'brien,, "Willie Nelson Looks Back at Himself in Red Headed Stranger, Joking 'Who Is That Old Bastard?'," 9 July 2019 Because of her grueling schedule, Grisham reportedly did not see Jake, who was 8 at the time, for 5½ months during the presidential campaign. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "'Defender of everything Trump': Meet Stephanie Grisham, Donald Trump's new press secretary," 25 June 2019 Pitching depth will be tested as coaches face the reality of keeping arms fresh while making a run at a tournament berth during a grueling stretch run of regular-season games. Matt Doherty,, "In May, it’s an arms’ race," 8 May 2018 But now, learning to walk again is a slow, grueling process. Victoria Albert, CBS News, "AFM still a "bit of a mystery" amid peak season for polio-like illness," 10 July 2019 The ball kids, about 250 of them separated into 42 teams of six at this year’s tournament, go through a grueling process for selection — first at their schools and later by the club. Washington Post, "Wimbledon’s ballgirls and ballboys get their own kind of tennis workout," 6 July 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for grueling

Last Updated

1 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grueling

The first known use of grueling was in 1852

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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

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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

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