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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The back-and-forth structure does tend to put the brakes on each story, which can make the series feel a little tedious after a while. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2022 The Philodendron Bipennifolium nearly glows bright yellows and greens and is a mood booster when the meal prep can feel a bit tedious. Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 The process can get rather tedious, but there’s also some fun in audience members trying to out-clever each other. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, 13 Dec. 2021 On paper, this sounds kind of tedious, considering there’s hardly any strategy to it besides knowing how to properly fill a bag. Kyndall Cunningham, Vulture, 27 Nov. 2021 While the show offers some laughs, smiles and warm, fuzzy feelings, that ultimately grows tedious. David Bauder, Star Tribune, 26 May 2021 As before, the repetition of ideas over time grows tedious. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 21 Apr. 2021 The work has been tedious and steady — all with the recognition that already strong winds will become stronger Friday and a shift over the weekend could turn the blaze up hillsides or toward homes on the outskirts of Flagstaff. Felicia Fonseca, ajc, 21 Apr. 2022 If the Potter stories sent Harry, Ron, and Hermione down the path to adult life, Fantastic Beasts shows how tedious and repetitive that life might turn out. A.a. Dowd, The Week, 20 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tedious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tedious. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tedious


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

More from Merriam-Webster on tedious

Nglish: Translation of tedious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tedious for Arabic Speakers


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