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

Examples of grueling in a Sentence

running a marathon is grueling cutting diamonds can be grueling work

Recent Examples on the Web

On her favorite workouts Daddario underwent grueling daily workouts to prep for her role as a lifeguard in the 2017 hit Baywatch. Lisa Desantis,, "This Is The Workout That Got Alexandra Daddario Into 'Baywatch' Shape," 19 June 2018 The 29-year-old is putting himself through daily grueling training sessions to rehabilitate his leg. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans DL coach expects same J.J. Watt," 5 June 2018 Tennis players never speak this candidly, especially not about the ways the sport can be grueling and mentally exhausting. Kevin Nguyen, GQ, "Naomi Osaka Is the Coolest Thing in Tennis," 24 May 2018 Portland Timbers beat Minnesota United 3-2 to earn first win of 2018 season The Portland Timbers finally returned to Providence Park Saturday night after opening the season with five grueling games on the road. Jamie Goldberg,, "Timbers Army unveils Singin' in the Rain-themed tifo ahead of Timbers home opener," 15 Apr. 2018 The White House said Monday that former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl would guide Trump’s nominee through the grueling Senate process. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump picks Kavanaugh for Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 Some hospitals are unwilling to do that for patients over 70, as the operation and recovery are so grueling. Tom Avril,, "He had 2 heart transplants. At 43, as a new dad, he needed a third," 13 June 2018 As mayor and governor, Rendell was famous for his ability to keep a grueling schedule on four hours of sleep a night. Marie Mccullough,, "Former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell announces he has Parkinson's disease," 18 June 2018 What helps with the grueling schedule, Gloria said, is that the performers feel a personal connection to the show. Margaret Gray,, "They're Gloria and Emilio Estefan, eight shows a week: How the stars of 'On Your Feet!' channel pop heroes," 10 July 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

24 Oct 2018

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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!