te·​dious ˈtē-dē-əs How to pronounce tedious (audio)
: tiresome because of length or dullness : boring
a tedious public ceremony
tediously adverb
tediousness noun

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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.
Recent Examples on the Web By automating tedious tasks like scheduling, AI allows employees to devote more time to the personal aspects of their jobs, such as conversing with customers, training new recruits and thinking strategically and creatively about how to improve the overall business experience. Michael Spataro, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 There is a didactic quality to this conceit that can grow a bit tedious. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 26 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for tedious 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tedious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near tedious

Cite this Entry

“Tedious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tedious. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


te·​dious ˈtēd-ē-əs How to pronounce tedious (audio)
: tiring because of length or dullness : boring
tediously adverb
tediousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on tedious

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