Grinding necessity

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Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect

Above all, they sought to curb the unrestrained democracy rampant in the various states. The specter of the recent outburst in Massachusetts was especially alarming, and in this sense Daniel Shays was yet another Founding Father. Grinding necessity extorted the Constitution from a reluctant nation. Fear occupied the fifty-sixth chair.

The American Pageant by Thomas A. Bailey

How can I interpret “grinding necessity”?
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It means necessity that is grinding, which is defined by Lexico as:


    (of a difficult situation) oppressive and seemingly without end.
    ‘grinding poverty’


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    grinding (in this context) - tedious and never-ending
    necessities (in this context) - things that have to be done (like collecting taxes, establishing an army etc)

    grinding necessities = endless, monotonous but essential projects
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