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Alternative formsEdit


From Sisyphus, from Ancient Greek Σίσυφος (Sísuphos). Sisyphus was a Greek mythological figure who was doomed to endlessly roll a boulder up a hill in Hades.


  • enPR: sīs'əfēʹən, IPA(key): /ˌsɪsəˈfiːən/
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English Wikipedia has an article on:

Sisyphean (not comparable)

  1. Incessant or incessantly recurring, but futile.
    • 2013 August 10, “A new prescription”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      As the world's drug habit shows, governments are failing in their quest to monitor every London window-box and Andean hillside for banned plants. But even that Sisyphean task looks easy next to the fight against synthetic drugs. No sooner has a drug been blacklisted than chemists adjust their recipe and start churning out a subtly different one.
    Sisyphean labors
  2. Relating to Sisyphus.


  • Edith Wharton (1862–1937), The Torch-Bearer
    The Sisyphean load of little lives,\\Becomes the globe and sceptre of the great.
  • 1959, Leo Strauss, What Is Political Philosophy? and Other Studies
    In spite of its highness or nobility, it [philosophy] could appear as Sisyphean or ugly, when one contrasts its achievement with its goal.
  • 2006, Hannah Tucker, Entertainment Weekly, no. 888 (28 July), p. 50
    Rob Paulsen won an Emmy as the voice of Pinky, who was responsible for supporting Brain (Maurice LaMarche) in his Sisyphean quest for world domination []
  • "How Life Imitates Chess" by Garry Kasparov, Bloomsbury USA publishing, 2007/2008: pg. 145 (Chapter 12, "The Inner Game"): "You can't overestimate the importance of psychology in chess, and as much as some players try to downplay it, I believe that winning requires a constant and strong psychology not just at the board but in every aspect of your life...It begins with intense preparation, which requires that you motivate yourself to work long, grueling, lonely hours. It often feels like a Sisyphean task, since you know that perhaps only ten percent of your analysis will ever see the light of day."