[groo-uh-ling, groo-ling]


exhausting; very tiring; arduously severe: the grueling Boston marathon.


any trying or exhausting procedure or experience.

Nearby words

  1. grudging,
  2. grudgingly,
  3. grudziadz,
  4. grue,
  5. gruel,
  6. gruelling,
  7. gruenberg,
  8. gruenberg, louis,
  9. gruesome,
  10. gruesomely

Also especially British, gru·el·ling.

Origin of grueling

1850–55; slang gruel punishment (noun), punish (v.) + -ing2, -ing1

Related formsgru·el·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gruelling

British Dictionary definitions for gruelling


US grueling


severe or tiringa gruelling interview


informal a severe experience, esp punishment

Word Origin for gruelling

C19: from now obsolete vb gruel to exhaust, punish

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 gruelling



also grueling, "exhausting, punishing," 1891, from late 18c. slang get one's gruel "receive one's punishment," from gruel.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper