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

Essential Meaning of tedious

: boring and too slow or long He made a tedious 45-minute speech. The work is tedious, but it needs to get done.

Full Definition of tedious

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The federal government and corporations such as LabCorp had failed to scale up COVID-19 testing, which often involved a tedious liquid transfer process called pipetting. Los Angeles Times, 15 Oct. 2021 While due diligence is necessary in order for an attorney to advise their client on their options and recommend a course of action, the process can be tedious and time-consuming, subject to error or inaccuracy. Forbes Business Council, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 Combing through historic records can be very tedious and time-consuming. Mary Ann Ashcraft, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 11 Sep. 2021 But getting access to that money can be confusing, tedious and time-consuming — especially for households already hustling to make ends meet. BostonGlobe.com, 8 June 2021 This is an especially time-consuming and tedious part of the process, that requires great attention to detail. Megan Embrey, House Beautiful, 13 Apr. 2021 For many, this iconic northern Italian rice dish has a reputation of being stodgy, time-consuming and tedious. Meredith Deeds Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 21 Oct. 2020 Contact tracing, though tedious and time-consuming, can disrupt chains of transmission by helping people quarantine and identifying who else the person has come into contact with in a two-week period. Hallie Miller, baltimoresun.com, 25 Sep. 2020 Still, the Bartlomes offered some encouragement for those trying to navigate the tedious homebuying process. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Oct. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About tedious

Time Traveler for tedious

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near tedious




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tedious

Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tedious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tedious. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!