One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Denoting a task that can never be completed.
futile, pointless, purposeless, impractical, vain, in vain, to no purpose, to no avail, unavailing, bootless, nugatory, hopeless, unusable, ineffectual, inefficacious, impotent, fruitless, unprofitable, profitless, unproductive, unachievableView synonyms
- ‘It was a Sisyphean task - but Paul did not give in.’
- ‘Jack considers Roberta to be the farthest gone of the group and suggests that her obsession has trapped her in a ‘hopeless Sisyphean life’.’
- ‘My favorite scene features a dung beetle trying to roll a bit of dinner up a hill; a more Sisyphean struggle I haven't seen.’
- ‘Not only do they lose the game but they are sentenced to a Sisyphean task.’
- ‘Such a daunting task is a true Sisyphean labour!’
- ‘The effort can seem Sisyphean, but it's effective.’
- ‘Yes, it's a difficult task, maybe even a Sisyphean one, but it's that challenge that ennobles what journalists do.’
- ‘Of course, trying to correct an animal rights activist with erroneous information is a Sisyphean task.’
- ‘He's urging anyone who's listening to continue on toward their desires, no matter how Sisyphean the task may prove to be.’
- ‘It's a Sisyphean task making today's complex software, with millions of lines of code, totally bug free.’
- ‘He strikes me as living in a quiet purgatory, working in a lonely, Sisyphean pursuit of redemption by calling for younger generations to step back from the conflicts we accept with resigned inevitability even as we oppose them in word.’
- ‘There is, of course, something Sisyphean about this.’
- ‘It was a Sisyphean task of epic proportions that defied a normal life expectancy.’
- ‘For some it's an afternoon's entertainment, falling off their board and hauling themselves up again with a kind of Sisyphean hopelessness.’
- ‘For years, the music and film industries have fought a Sisyphean battle against piracy.’
- ‘I find this a laudable goal but often a Sisyphean task.’
- ‘Happy lunchtime. I managed to book holidays, after what looked at first like a Sisyphean struggle.’
- ‘Governance reform takes on a Sisyphean quality in Canada: at one and the same time it is both a powerful compulsion and, apparently, a frustrating, if not impossible, task.’
- ‘The job of encouraging better care of livestock is Sisyphean.’
- ‘The first exercise machine, in fact, was designed as a particularly tedious form of Sisyphean punishment.’
Late 16th century: from Latin Sisypheius (based on Greek Sisuphos: see Sisyphus)+ -an.
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