[ tred-mil ]
See synonyms for treadmill on
  1. an apparatus for producing rotary motion by the weight of people or animals, treading on a succession of moving steps or a belt that forms a kind of continuous path, as around the periphery of a pair of horizontal cylinders.

  2. an exercise machine that allows the user to walk or run in place, usually on a continuous moving belt.

  1. any monotonous, wearisome routine in which there is little or no satisfactory progress.

Origin of treadmill

First recorded in 1815–25; tread + mill1

Words Nearby treadmill Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use treadmill in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for treadmill


/ (ˈtrɛdˌmɪl) /

  1. Also called: treadwheel (formerly) an apparatus used to produce rotation, in which the weight of men or animals climbing steps on or around the periphery of a cylinder or wheel caused it to turn

  2. a dreary round or routine

  1. an exercise machine that consists of a continuous moving belt on which to walk or jog

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