top of page



Definition of 'backbreaking'

Requiring an immense amount of physical effort, stamina, and strength.
"The farmers endured backbreaking work in the scorching sun to harvest the crops."

Detailed Meaning of 'backbreaking'

When something is referred to as backbreaking, it implies that the work is extremely arduous, demanding, and physically taxing. It suggests that the task is so challenging and labor-intensive that it puts significant strain or pressure on the muscles and joints, particularly in the back area. The term "backbreaking" often conveys a sense of hardship, difficulty, or toil associated with the task at hand. It can be used to describe physically demanding occupations, such as agricultural work, construction, or heavy manual labor. Furthermore, it can be employed figuratively to describe any task or activity that requires great effort, persistence, and endurance, regardless of its physical nature. Overall, the adjective "backbreaking" underscores the intense physical exertion and difficulty associated with a task, emphasizing the strain it places on the body and the immense effort required to complete it.


Examples of 'backbreaking' in a Sentence

1. The construction workers faced backbreaking labor as they carried heavy bricks and materials all day.
2. She took on the backbreaking task of moving furniture up several flights of stairs.
3. The miners toiled underground, performing backbreaking work in dangerous conditions.
4. The athletes trained for months, enduring backbreaking workouts to prepare for the marathon.
5. The road crew faced backbreaking efforts to repair the damaged highway.
6. The porters hauled loads up the mountain, engaged in backbreaking work to support the climbers.

Anchor 1

Origins & Etymology of 'backbreaking'

The adjective 'backbreaking' is a compound word, where 'back' and 'breaking' are combined to convey the idea of a task or activity that demands an immense amount of physical effort, stamina, and strength, to the point where it feels as though one's back might 'break' under the strain. While 'backbreaking' itself does not have a distinct etymology, it is a vivid example of how language uses imagery to create compound words that vividly describe the nature of certain tasks or activities. The term underscores the arduous and physically demanding nature of the work or effort it describes, painting a picture of the strain and exertion involved in such endeavors.

How to pronounce backbreaking (audio)


bottom of page