gru·​el·​ing | \ ˈgrü-ə-liŋ \
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 \ adverb

Examples of grueling in a Sentence

running a marathon is grueling cutting diamonds can be grueling work

Recent Examples on the Web

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 The Alaskan Bush People stars have dealt with a lot, from mom Ami's grueling health struggles to starting a new life in Washington to Matt Brown's recent stint in rehab for alcohol abuse. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'Alaskan Bush People' Star Rain Brown Shares Touching Tribute to the Show and Her Family," 25 Nov. 2018 Being a member of Congress comes with a grueling schedule. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a point about housing for Congress," 21 Nov. 2018 As revealed on one episode of DWTS, Bobby has particularly grueling work hours. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Bobby Bones Says the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Judges Don’t Want Him to Win Tonight," 19 Nov. 2018 Lucky for you, this weekend’s finish line is a lot less grueling than last week’s. Michael Andor Brodeur,, "The Weekender: ‘Avengers’ heroes, fierce queens, and They Might Be Giants," 26 Apr. 2018 The agency is already under pressure after a grueling hurricane season last year that included Harvey, Irma and Maria. Colleen Long, The Seattle Times, "Fate of FEMA leader in doubt as Florence cleanup continues," 18 Sep. 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.

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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

14 Feb 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

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 express emotion in a dramatic way

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