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Apr 22, 2010
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Allusions

This week's words
vanity fair
Old Man of the Sea
pygmalionism
sisyphean
achates

Sisyphus
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Sisyphean

PRONUNCIATION:
(sis-ee-FEE-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective: Endlessly laborious and fruitless.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Sisyphus, a king in Greek mythology who was cursed to push a huge boulder to the top of a hill, only to watch it roll back down and to repeat this forever. Roll, rinse, repeat.

USAGE:
"Even making the bed together in the morning, an act that had hitherto struck me as Sisyphean, took on meaning."
Tim Page; Parallel Play; The New Yorker; Aug 20, 2007.

See more usage examples of sisyphean in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Punishment is the last and least effective instrument in the hands of the legislator for the prevention of crime. -John Ruskin, author, art critic, and social reformer (1819-1900)

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