tread·​mill | \ ˈtred-ˌmil How to pronounce treadmill (audio) \

Definition of treadmill

1a : a device having an endless belt on which an individual walks or runs in place for exercise or physiological testing
b : a mill worked by an animal treading an endless belt
c : a mill worked by persons treading on steps on the periphery of a wide wheel having a horizontal axis and used formerly in prison punishment
2 : a wearisome or monotonous routine resembling continued activity on a treadmill the office treadmill

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Examples of treadmill in a Sentence

the treadmill of exhausting family schedules the treadmill of the morning commute to work

Recent Examples on the Web

As his playing time fluctuated, Cook tried to stay ready with post-practice games of 3-on-3, late-night jumpers in the team facility and extra miles on the treadmill. Connor Letourneau,, "Quinn Cook: How backup guard became the Warriors’ ‘Patty Mills’," 28 June 2019 Oral Veillonella boosted rodent endurance on the treadmill, and rectal administration of propionate did so as well. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Elite Athletes’ Gut Bacteria Give Rodent Runners a Boost," 24 June 2019 Complete newbies can start with a 60-minute indoor tri that’s about time, not distance: 10 minutes swimming in the pool, 30 minutes on a stationary bike, and 20 minutes on the treadmill. January Ornellas,, "Mistakes I made — and lessons learned — on my first triathlon," 20 June 2019 These dense surfaces cause more pounding when compared to running on a softer trail or good treadmill. David Becker,, "Training for Broad Street Run? Here's how to avoid back pain," 28 Feb. 2018 Krupa wrote days after sharing her big news, alongside a video of herself baring her bump on a treadmill., "Pregnant Real Housewives of Miami Alum Joanna Krupa Shows Off Her 'Growing' Bare Baby Belly," 11 June 2019 Although no explicit link has yet been drawn between temporal organization and grid cells, scientists have seen hints of a connection: Grid cells signal elapsed time in rats running on treadmills, for instance. Quanta Magazine, "The Brain Maps Out Ideas and Memories Like Spaces," 14 Jan. 2019 One photo shows Ari on a treadmill (or elliptical, hard to tell) with Apple’s 1999 original orange iBook (yes, the exact same one Elle Woods outstandingly rocks at Harvard Law). Sara Delgado, Glamour, "Ariana Grande's 'Thank U, Next' Video Will Reference Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, 13 Going on 30, and Bring It On," 24 Nov. 2018 In ongoing tests of the system, the patients were able to adjust the length and speed of their strides and to walk on a treadmill for an hour—traveling the equivalent of up to one kilometer. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Spinal-cord stimulation allows three paralyzed men to walk with assistance," 31 Oct. 2018

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

1822, in the meaning defined at sense 1c

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Statistics for treadmill

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for treadmill

The first known use of treadmill was in 1822

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More Definitions for treadmill



English Language Learners Definition of treadmill

: an exercise machine which has a large belt that moves around while a person walks or runs on it
: a boring or tiring activity, job, etc., in which you repeatedly do the same things


tread·​mill | \ ˈtred-ˌmil How to pronounce treadmill (audio) \

Kids Definition of treadmill

1 : a device having an endless belt on which an individual walks or runs in place for exercise
2 : a tiresome routine


tread·​mill | \ ˈtred-ˌmil How to pronounce treadmill (audio) \

Medical Definition of treadmill

: a device having an endless belt on which an individual walks or runs in place that is used for exercise and in tests of physiological functions — see stress test

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Comments on treadmill

What made you want to look up treadmill? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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