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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He received his pass and proceeded to carry out the donkey work of barraging through three tackles along the goal line.’
    • ‘I did everything - put up the set, did the donkey work and acted.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For my own purposes, I would prefer to invest the £30,000 in bank shares, and to let them do the donkey work instead.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fortunately, the donkey work had been done before my visit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The donkey work of this book was done by a ghostwriter.’
    • ‘Then they recruited him (not their first choice, incidentally) to do the donkey work.’
    • ‘His almost unnoticed donkey work was the catalyst for a superb performance.’
    • ‘Amidst the donkey work, disruption and bills, I was thinking about his suggestion that he might build new nuclear power plants.’
    • ‘We might get the bulk of the scores, but they do all the donkey work to create the scores.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He did the donkey work and the dirty work, and sat back dismissively as his country, or rather its patrician rulers, disowned him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Drug barons operate out of a dockside warehouse, employing some of their fellow countrymen to do the donkey work.’
    • ‘We do a lot of donkey work yet we are the poorest paid in the country.’
    work, effort, endeavour, toil, labour, exertion, graft, the sweat of one's brow, drudgery
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

donkey work