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busywork

[ biz-ee-wurk ]
/ ˈbɪz iˌwɜrk /
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noun
work assigned for the sake of looking or keeping busy.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
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Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of busywork

First recorded in 1840–50; busy + work
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use busywork in a sentence

Other Idioms and Phrases with busywork

busy work

Activity meant to take up time but not actually be productive. For example, We have to put in an eight-hour day, even if we do nothing but busy work. [c. 1840]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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