Sisyphus

[sis-uh-fuhs]
noun Classical Mythology.
a son of Aeolus and ruler of Corinth, noted for his trickery: he was punished in Tartarus by being compelled to roll a stone to the top of a slope, the stone always escaping him near the top and rolling down again.
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World English Dictionary
Sisyphus (ˈsɪsɪfəs)
 
n
Greek myth a king of Corinth, punished in Hades for his misdeeds by eternally having to roll a heavy stone up a hill: every time he approached the top, the stone escaped his grasp and rolled to the bottom

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Cultural Dictionary
Sisyphus [(sis-uh-fuhs)]

A king in classical mythology who offended Zeus and was punished in Hades by being forced to roll an enormous boulder to the top of a steep hill. Every time the boulder neared the top, it would roll back down, and Sisyphus would have to start over.

Note: A difficult and futile endeavor may be called a “labor of Sisyphus” or a “Sisyphean task.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences for sisyphus
In the same year he finished his first books, the stranger and the myth of sisyphus.
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