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Alternative forms[edit]


back +‎ breaking


backbreaking (comparative more backbreaking, superlative most backbreaking)

  1. (figuratively) Of work, very physically tiring.
    • 1949 May and June, R. A. H. Weight, “A Short-Lived Pacific Class”, in Railway Magazine, page 196:
      A few keen enginemen, such as Driver Rosewarne of York, could coax good work out of them when engaged in heavy East Coast express service, but to most footplate crews, especially firemen, they were rather heartbreaking and backbreaking machines, and gradually were relegated to secondary or fast goods duties.

, The Shadow King, Canongate Books (2020), page 110:

Ahead [...] each woman is stooped beneath a backbreaking load of firewood.

Derived terms[edit]