tedious

adjective
te·​dious | \ ˈtē-dē-əs How to pronounce tedious (audio) , ˈtē-jəs \

Definition of tedious

: tiresome because of length or dullness : boring a tedious public ceremony

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Other Words from tedious

tediously adverb
tediousness noun

The Long and Uneventful History of Tedious

Words frequently change their meanings, and some even will go from meaning one thing to meaning something almost opposite (such as nice, which in its earliest use meant "lewd, wanton, dissolute"). Tedious is not one of these words; its meanings may have shifted over the centuries, but they have always had something to do with irksome, boring, or overlong things. The word comes from the Latin taedēre, meaning “to disgust or weary.” Tedious has been in use since the 15th century and has been included in hundreds of dictionaries, although perhaps none have rendered so poetic and succinct a definition as Nathaniel Bailey’s entry in his 1756 New Universal Etymological English Dictionary: “Wearisome by continuance.”

Examples of tedious in a Sentence

Writing a new spreadsheet or word-processing program these days is a tedious process, like building a skyscraper out of toothpicks. — Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone, 16 June 1994 Another of their assignments was to slow-fly any plane that had a new engine to break it in; that meant flying the aircraft for a tedious hour-and-a-half as slowly as it would possibly go without falling out of the sky. — Doris Weatherford, American Women and World War II, 1990 From there, it became clear that the deposition was going to be neither as undramatic nor as quotidian, and even tedious, as it at first appeared. — Renata Adler, New Yorker, June 23, 1986 He made a tedious 45-minute speech. The work is tedious, but it needs to get done.
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Recent Examples on the Web One problem that has become a subject of considerable, often tedious debate in the presidential election may prove unexpectedly to be unifying. Nikil Saval, The New Republic, "The Future of the Democratic Party Is in Pennsylvania," 26 Oct. 2020 Vice President Joe Biden breaking into an impromptu Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood singalong, the skit felt much like the rest of SNL’s recent political commentary—tepid, tedious, and woefully inadequate given the cataclysmic state of the country. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "SNL Is Best When It Doesn’t Take Itself So Seriously," 18 Oct. 2020 There's no other way to put it: Trying to lighten the appearance of these is time-consuming, tedious, and annoying. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "How to Get Rid of Dark Spots for Good," 28 Sep. 2020 Olive oil harvest, which happens from the end of September to November in Calabria, is a long, tedious, and exacting process. Devorah Lev-tov, Condé Nast Traveler, "Meet the Woman Bringing Calabrian Olive Oil to the U.S.," 15 Sep. 2020 But with millions in hand and more power than ever, the work Murphy has made at Netflix so far has been curiously tedious. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, "With a big Netflix deal and the power to green-light almost anything, Ryan Murphy has become the ultimate insider. And his work is suffering.," 4 Jan. 2021 Someone too lazy to do it the old tedious way invents the future. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "How Tech Got Ready for 2020," 20 Dec. 2020 Everything was happening on some sort of screen, and the tedious video engagements and text messages often left her frustrated. Ava Kofman, ProPublica, "“We Don’t Even Know Who Is Dead or Alive”: Trapped Inside an Assisted Living Facility During the Pandemic," 30 Nov. 2020 This tedious process slowly built up new layers of paint to sit even with the original surface. Paul Wright, Popular Mechanics, "How to Repair Car Paint Chips," 13 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tedious.' 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 tedious

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tedious

Middle English, from Late Latin taediosus, from Latin taedium — see tedium

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Time Traveler for tedious

Time Traveler

The first known use of tedious was in the 15th century

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Statistics for tedious

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tedious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tedious. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for tedious

tedious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of tedious

: boring and too slow or long

tedious

adjective
te·​dious | \ ˈtē-dē-əs How to pronounce tedious (audio) , ˈtē-jəs \

Kids Definition of tedious

: tiring because of length or dullness a tedious explanation a tedious job

Other Words from tedious

tediously adverb
tediousness noun

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Comments on tedious

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