Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A mechanism rotated by people treading on the moving steps of a wheel.
  • n. A similar device operated by an animal treading a continuous sloping belt.
  • n. An exercise device consisting of a continuous moving belt on which a person can walk or jog while remaining in one place.
  • n. A monotonous task or set of tasks seeming to have no end.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A piece of indoor sporting equipment used to allow for the motions of running or walking while staying in one place.
  • n. A mill worked by persons treading upon steps on the periphery of a wide wheel having a horizontal axis. It is used principally as a means of prison discipline.
  • n. A mill worked by horses, dogs, etc., treading an endless belt.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mill worked by persons treading upon steps on the periphery of a wide wheel having a horizontal axis. It is used principally as a means of prison discipline. Also, a mill worked by horses, dogs, etc., treading an endless belt.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An appliance for producing rotary motion by the weight of a man or men, or of an animal, as a horse, stepping on movable steps connected with a revolving cylinder or wheel.
  • n. Figuratively, a monotonous and wearisome round, as of occupation or exertion: as, the treadmill of business.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an exercise device consisting of an endless belt on which a person can walk or jog without changing place
  • n. a job involving drudgery and confinement
  • n. a mill that is powered by men or animals walking on a circular belt or climbing steps

Etymologies

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