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illustration Sisyphean



Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, 17th century


Denoting or relating to a task that can never be completed.

Examples of Sisyphean in a sentence

"Trying to keep my cats from getting into the bag of treats feels like a Sisyphean challenge."

"Beach cleanup days can feel Sisyphean, but preserving the ecosystem is a worthwhile project."

About Sisyphean

“Sisyphean” is adapted from the name “Sisyphus,” based on the ancient Greek “Σίσυφος” (“Sísuphos”).

Did you Know?

According to ancient Greek myth, Sisyphus was said to have cheated death twice, which made Hades — the god of the dead — angry. To punish Sisyphus, Hades sentenced him to spend eternity rolling an enormous stone to the top of a hill, only to have it roll down to the bottom again. For hundreds of years, the adjective “Sisyphean” has described tasks and labors that feel futile, endless, incessant, and frustrating — even those on a much smaller scale than those of the Greek gods. Keeping one's sock drawer organized may be a Sisyphean endeavor, for example.

illustration Sisyphean

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