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 ?
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.
Mater Dei went on a backbreaking 18-3 run early in second half to put away the Toreadors 89-64 Friday in a quarterfinal game of the 21st annual Nike Fairfax Tournament.
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.
Instead of spending backbreaking hours bending down, pickers can now lie flat on specially designed rigs.
Instead, they stay in the United States, taking year-round jobs that pay more and are less backbreaking than farm work, such as cleaning hotels or working in construction in cities on the Gulf Coast devastated by last year's hurricanes.
There's the backbreaking work of moving tons of rock to expose layers that hold the ancient bones, followed by the painstaking excavation of sometimes fragile remains that haven't seen the light of day for millions of years.
This chapter shows how ideas about race and labor segmentation relegated Mexican men to work in the poorly paid, backbreaking industry of brick making and confined them and their families to the "ethnic borders" of the company town.
A quarter of those questioned were allegedly claiming benefits while earning up to pounds 1,200 a day from the seasonal work, showing how lucrative the backbreaking and dangerous work can be
Uprooting small trees, shrubs and bushes need no longer be backbreaking work, thanks to the Tree Popper.
A typical day was spent cooking, cleaning, taking care of children and cows, and spending several backbreaking hours in a rice paddy.
Indeed, in some cases, conditions were worse, for instance when architects demanded that beams and planks be cut using traditional backbreaking and blinding manual techniques rather than machines.
Air-vacuum excavation systems eliminate the backbreaking labor involved in hand digging and, since spoils slay dry for use as backfill, there are no spoils disposal costs.