back-breaking

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back-breaking

Extremely difficult; exhausting; mentally and/or physically taxing to the point of feeling like one's body or spirit will break. Though usually used in reference to physical labor, it can refer figuratively to any job, activity, or task. After 10 years of back-breaking labor in construction, I've decided to finally pursue academia. We put in months of back-breaking work to get ready for our exams in May.
References in periodicals archive ?
He said that Israel was crushed by Hezbollah during the 33-day (2006 summer) war and added the Lebanese movement imposed a backbreaking defeat on Tel Aviv.
Occupy groups protest student debt, outsourcing, downsizing, backbreaking medical expense, bankers, securicrats, and Congressional coma."
This year's contestants--mining engineering students from 15 colleges around the world--reenacted 18th- and 19th-century backbreaking mining techniques, including those used during California's Gold Rush in the 1840s and 50s.
Career: At 28, Doherty quit his life as a city-dwelling academic and threw himself into the backbreaking task of transforming a dilapidated old dairy farm into a flourishing organic pig business.
Heavy and repetitive lifting on a production line at Nortura in Forus, Norway, made for backbreaking work.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Dickensian view of neglected children, forced to work at backbreaking labor.
Spare a thought for the people who came from the west of Ireland to harvest Scotland's potato crop - the backbreaking work of howking them out of the ground - from the 19th century to the early 1980s.
The dust bowl was a harsh time, when even finding the backbreaking work needed to eke out a living was hard.
According to the magazine, "Its men spend their days in a surreal combination of backbreaking labor--building outposts on rocky ridges--and deadly firefights, while they try to avoid the mistakes the Russians made."
I think the article did him justice as a genuine man who believes in what he is doing--delivering a strong message about the dignity of workers in America, especially those doing filthy and backbreaking jobs.
From dreams that people strived for, to the backbreaking hard work of daily life, the cycle of birth and death, insights into local history, and much more, My Dear Father and Mother is utterly absorbing in its vivid portrayal of the past.
The fact is that these brown folks, legal and illegal, sustain our economy with their backbreaking cheap labor.
It is Acocella's view that greatness in art is a matter of more than innate gifts: It is often a product of backbreaking perseverance in the face of hardships and setbacks, and, for her, it also requires strength of character.
Even in Nigeria, the fifth-largest oil producer in the world, millions of children do backbreaking work.
Picking cases from pallet racking can be backbreaking work.