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

The Duke of Cambridge also met service users taking part in physical rehabilitation therapies, including an anti-gravity treadmill which allows those with lower limb injuries to exercise freely without putting their full weight on their feet. Simon Perry,, "The Meaningful Reason Prince William Is Asking People to Start Texting More," 9 Sep. 2019 Aina asks the model to run for a few minutes on a treadmill, just enough so that her face develops a light sheen of sweat. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Jackie Aina Investigates the Age-Old Beauty Question: What Exactly Is Setting Spray?," 4 Sep. 2019 In addition to the K.P.S. scale, researchers had used an exercise-tolerance test, which assesses a person’s physiological responses to walking on a treadmill. Mike Mariani, The New Yorker, "A Town for People with Chronic Fatigue," 3 Sep. 2019 Health apps have the potential to misuse data, exacerbate eating disorders and keep people permanently on a treadmill. The Economist, "The business of the body," 11 July 2019 Rowbury has been doing much of her training on anti-gravity treadmill., "Konstanze Klosterhalfen doubles up, and Craig Engels busts loose at the Portland Track Festival," 9 June 2019 Later, Liliom hurries to a robbery that will prove fatal along a narrow treadmill. New York Times, "20th-Century Rogues’ Gallery Gets a Modern Twist," 12 Sep. 2019 NordicTrack sent a technician over, who disassembled and then reassembled the treadmill. Christopher Elliott, King Features Syndicate, The Mercury News, "Problem Solved: Help! My NordicTrack keeps freezing up and no one can fix it," 25 Aug. 2019 Johnson had spent the past few years of his career on the blockbuster treadmill making Star Wars: The Last Jedi and then enduring waves of hype, online trolling, praise, and backlash for the inimitable sequel. David Sims, The Atlantic, "TIFF 2019: Nine Movies to Pay Attention to This Awards Season," 10 Sep. 2019

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

11 Oct 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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