One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a task) such that it 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 of epic proportions that defied a normal life expectancy.’
- ‘He's urging anyone who's listening to continue on toward their desires, no matter how Sisyphean the task may prove to be.’
- ‘Not only do they lose the game but they are sentenced to a Sisyphean task.’
- ‘For some it's an afternoon's entertainment, falling off their board and hauling themselves up again with a kind of Sisyphean hopelessness.’
- ‘I find this a laudable goal but often a Sisyphean task.’
- ‘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’.’
- ‘Of course, trying to correct an animal rights activist with erroneous information is a Sisyphean task.’
- ‘Such a daunting task is a true Sisyphean labour!’
- ‘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.’
- ‘There is, of course, something Sisyphean about this.’
- ‘Yes, it's a difficult task, maybe even a Sisyphean one, but it's that challenge that ennobles what journalists do.’
- ‘Happy lunchtime. I managed to book holidays, after what looked at first like a Sisyphean struggle.’
- ‘The job of encouraging better care of livestock is Sisyphean.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘For years, the music and film industries have fought a Sisyphean battle against piracy.’
- ‘It's a Sisyphean task making today's complex software, with millions of lines of code, totally bug free.’
- ‘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 effort can seem Sisyphean, but it's effective.’
- ‘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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