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Related to Sisyphean: Sisyphus, Sisyphean task


1. Of or relating to Sisyphus.
2. Endlessly laborious or futile: "The jumble of wet pans and platters ... made him weary; to dry them seemed a task as Sisyphean as to repair the things wrong with his parents' house" (Jonathan Franzen).

[From Latin Sisyphēius, from Greek Sisupheios, from Sisuphos, Sisyphus.]


1. (Classical Myth & Legend) relating to Sisyphus
2. actually or seemingly endless and futile


(ˌsɪs əˈfi ən)

suggesting or resembling the punishment of Sisyphus in futility or hopelessness: a Sisyphean task.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.Sisyphean - of or relating to Sisyphus
2.Sisyphean - both extremely effortful and futile
effortful - requiring great physical effort
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References in periodicals archive ?
Pointless or interminable activities are sometimes described as Sisyphean.
In doing this, Europe has set off on a Sisyphean quest.
It is rusting away, and we should be grateful to all those who have undertaken the Sisyphean task of trying to stop its deterioration.
Kissinger does make it clear that, because of a number of factors in the Middle East, the goal of building democracies where none have existed, given the presence of significant and nearly insurmountable obstacles, has resulted in a Sisyphean nightmare in Iraq.
Much of it consisted of his recounting Sisyphean battles to keep college sports"clean" and high-stakes negotiations with the television networks.
An upcoming band from Portland's tech metal scene, Sisyphean Conscience, is bringing its progressive metal music to Cozmic on Sunday.
hand/ palm recognition software, face a Sisyphean task in creating policies and programs.
NINs' latest tour promises to serve up another bone-crunching, flesh-pounding and intensely riveting set of Sisyphean symphonies, nihilistic (de)compositions and plenty of (spoiled) food for thought for the wretched to devour.
As the search for the missing Boeing 777 moved to a remote part of the Indian Ocean hundreds of miles off the Australian coast, officials said the vast quantities of trash bobbing in the water was making the Sisyphean search for wreckage from the flight all the more complicated.
Survivor" tells of a man wracked with guilt for years after returning from the war, and pain that drives him to the brink of self-destruction; "The Innocents of War" is about the family of a solider who is MIA (missing in action) for over twenty years; and "Rap" follows Vietnam combat veterans trying to readjust from combat to civilian life, a tough to the point of Sisyphean task even with the aid of group therapy at the Veterans Administration.
The materials and preoccupation here may look like those from the past, but they seem to signify something very different--if only, perhaps, the Sisyphean curse of having to endlessly reenact the battles of twentieth-century art in a fog.