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dues-paying

[dooz-pey-ing, dyooz-] /ˈduzˌpeɪ ɪŋ, ˈdyuz-/
adjective
1.
gaining experience, especially by hard and often unpleasant or uncongenial work:
He spent his dues-paying years as a cocktail pianist.
noun
2.
the act or process of gaining experience, especially slowly and laboriously:
She had many years of dues-paying before her abilities were recognized.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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