Definition of donkey work in English:

donkey work

noun

British
informal
  • [mass noun] The boring or laborious part of a job; drudgery.

    ‘supervisors who get a research student to do the donkey work’
    • ‘We do a lot of donkey work yet we are the poorest paid in the country.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I did everything - put up the set, did the donkey work and acted.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He did the donkey work and the dirty work, and sat back dismissively as his country, or rather its patrician rulers, disowned him.’
    • ‘His almost unnoticed donkey work was the catalyst for a superb performance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For my own purposes, I would prefer to invest the £30,000 in bank shares, and to let them do the donkey work instead.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Drug barons operate out of a dockside warehouse, employing some of their fellow countrymen 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.’
    • ‘The donkey work of this book was done by a ghostwriter.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then they recruited him (not their first choice, incidentally) 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.’
    work, effort, endeavour, toil, labour, exertion, graft, the sweat of one's brow, drudgery
    slog
    yakka
    View synonyms

Pronunciation:

donkey work

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