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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Classical Myth & Legend) relating to Sisyphus
2. actually or seemingly endless and futile
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌsɪs əˈfi ən)

suggesting or resembling the punishment of Sisyphus in futility or hopelessness: a Sisyphean task.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.Sisyphean - of or relating to Sisyphus
2.Sisyphean - both extremely effortful and futile
effortful - requiring great physical effort
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"The UN faces the usual Sisyphean task and needs all the help it can get.
Are they living in a Sisyphean torture chamber, or are they in a state of unspoiled grace?
During his nearly two terms as sheriff, Clements' quest for a stable, reliable source of funding for public safety programs has had a Sisyphean quality.
In her home on the mysterious "col des loups," where she toils at the Sisyphean task of rebuilding a stone wall demolished by time, Marie-Marthe attempts to teach her young charge the bitter lessons of her own life.
While far from being a 'rant,' 'Tropical Loop' seemed a meditation on the Sisyphean nature of art as an expression of our identity.
It re-creates the bucket chain of a bullock-powered water wheel (a rehat), but with the buckets perforated to create a sievelike figure of Sisyphean effort.
I am not the only economist who thinks this is a Sisyphean task.
On the road behind "The Slip," as well as the 36-track instrumental collection "Ghosts I-IV" (both of which were released this year), NIN's "Lights in the Sky" Tour served up a 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.
For the average person, in the present financial situation it seems saving money is a Sisyphean task.
Fracturing the aud's notion of time is the film's one modernist ploy, resulting in the experience of the escape as a monumentally Sisyphean task.
Smith) sit in separate armchairs, talk in cliches, and appear desperate to break out of their absurd, dehumanizing routines: Fred's job is to roll Sisyphean boulders up a ramp; Madge, a factory worker, transports water in a sieve.
While far from being a 'rant,' 'Tropical Loop' seems to be a meditation on the Sisyphean nature of art as an expression of our identity.