• synonyms


  1. a person who does menial, distasteful, dull, or hard work.
  2. a person who works in a routine, unimaginative way.
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verb (used without object), drudged, drudg·ing.
  1. to perform menial, distasteful, dull, or hard work.
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Origin of drudge

1485–95; compare OE man's name Drycghelm helmet maker, equivalent to drycg (akin to drēogan to work) + helm helm2
Related formsdrudg·er, noundrudg·ing·ly, adverb


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for drudges

Historical Examples

  • Society does little else than to teach its girls to be dolls and drudges.

    Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women

    George Sumner Weaver

  • Then will the rich have their Harems, and the poor their drudges.

  • That's the great empire they boast about of drudges and whipped serfs.


    James Joyce

  • Bush-harrows, which are at work in the meadows at this time of year, are drudges or dredges.

    Field and Hedgerow

    Richard Jefferies

  • But they had heard the same before, and were yet the drudges of his will.

    I've Been Thinking;

    Azel Stevens Roe

British Dictionary definitions for drudges


  1. a person, such as a servant, who works hard at wearisome menial tasks
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  1. (intr) to toil at such tasks
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Derived Formsdrudger, noundrudgingly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: perhaps from druggen to toil
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 drudges



late 15c., "one employed in mean, servile, or distasteful work," missing in Old English and Middle English (but cf. Middle English druggen "do menial or monotonous work; druggunge, mid-13c., in Barnhart), but apparently related to Old English dreogan "to work, suffer, endure" (see endure). The verb is from 1540s. Related: Drudged; drudging. The surname is from 13c., probably from Old French dragie "a mixture of grains sown together," thus, a grower of this crop.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper