[aw-jee-uh n]


resembling the Augean stables in filthiness or degradation.
difficult and unpleasant: an Augean chore.

Origin of Augean

1590–1600; < Latin Augē(us) of Augeas (Greek Augeí(ās) + -us adj. suffix) + -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for augean

Contemporary Examples of augean

Historical Examples of augean

  • Rather than meddle with them, I would give the Augean stables a second clean-out.

  • But while there is life in a young patient there is always hope, and we at once set to work on our Augean task.

    A Labrador Doctor

    Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

  • Not that he abandoned his determination to cleanse his Augean stables.

  • By sheer persistence and strength to enforce her commands, she had brought about a cleansing nothing short of Augean.

    A Woman's Burden

    Fergus Hume

  • His mind was very far from his official duties and the mass of reminders before him—this Augean stable of arrears.

    The Snare

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for augean



extremely dirty or corrupt

Word Origin for Augean

C16: after Augeas; see Augean stables
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for augean



"filthy," 1590s, in reference to Augean stable, the cleansing of which was one of the labors of Herakles, from Greek Augeias, like the stable of Augeas, king of Elis, which contained 3,000 oxen and had gone uncleansed for 30 years. Herakles purified it in one day by turning the river Alpheus through it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper