Definition of donkey work in English:

donkey work

noun

mass nounBritish
informal
  • The boring or laborious part of a job; drudgery.

    ‘supervisors who get a research student to do the donkey work’
    • ‘Drug barons operate out of a dockside warehouse, employing some of their fellow countrymen to do the donkey work.’
    • ‘It was another of those decisions that are made without me, despite the fact that I will be expected to share in the donkey work and generally help deal with things.’
    • ‘For my own purposes, I would prefer to invest the £30,000 in bank shares, and to let them do the donkey work instead.’
    • ‘We do a lot of donkey work yet we are the poorest paid in the country.’
    • ‘As the vast majority of his work was formulaic, this method saved a great deal of donkey work, while at the same time, it served as theory exercises for his pupils.’
    • ‘The donkey work had been done - the intricate brushing away of thousands of years of dust and soil was a task undertaken by the steady handed experts.’
    • ‘It generated a large volume of posts on the subject, therefore they were doing all the donkey work of establishing the system as a serious contender.’
    • ‘His almost unnoticed donkey work was the catalyst for a superb performance.’
    • ‘Fortunately, the donkey work had been done before my visit.’
    • ‘He received his pass and proceeded to carry out the donkey work of barraging through three tackles along the goal line.’
    • ‘The donkey work of this book was done by a ghostwriter.’
    • ‘Amidst the donkey work, disruption and bills, I was thinking about his suggestion that he might build new nuclear power plants.’
    • ‘The Sherpas are the toughest people in the Himalayas and they do all the donkey work for most of the climbing expeditions in the Nepal and Tibet areas.’
    • ‘Then they recruited him (not their first choice, incidentally) to do the donkey work.’
    • ‘Some successful scientists make their careers by hammering away at one experimental technique that they are good at, and by gathering a gang of co-workers to do the donkey work.’
    • ‘I've done all the donkey work and I feel that I am in good enough shape to be the world champion in a couple of a days.’
    • ‘He did the donkey work and the dirty work, and sat back dismissively as his country, or rather its patrician rulers, disowned him.’
    • ‘I did everything - put up the set, did the donkey work and acted.’
    • ‘My workload is going to increase, but I'm going to have more time to do things properly and have to implement a communication/delegation system so I'm not doing all the donkey work.’
    • ‘We might get the bulk of the scores, but they do all the donkey work to create the scores.’
    work, effort, endeavour, toil, labour, exertion, graft, the sweat of one's brow, drudgery
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

donkey work