• WordNet 3.6
    • n Sisyphus (Greek legend) a king in ancient Greece who offended Zeus and whose punishment was to roll a huge boulder to the top of a steep hill; each time the boulder neared the top it rolled back down and Sisyphus was forced to start again
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Sisyphus (Class. Myth) A king of Corinth, son of Æolus, famed for his cunning. He was killed by Theseus, and in the lower world was condemned by Pluto to roll to the top of a hill a huge stone, which constantly rolled back again, making his task incessant.
    • ***


  • Albert Camus
    “The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. Sisyphus, Sisyphus, fr. Gr.


In literature:

His toil, like that of Sisyphus, was ever being renewed when on the verge of completion.
"The White Squall" by John Conroy Hutcheson
Bellerophon, or Bellerophontes, was the son of Glaucus, king of Corinth, and grandson of Sisyphus.
"Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome" by E.M. Berens
Do not let us be seen engaged in the idle labor of Sisyphus.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
At present it is largely engaged in the futile task of Sisyphus.
"Moral Principles in Education" by John Dewey
The next two forms, Tantalus and Sisyphus, have also a kinship.
"Homer's Odyssey" by Denton J. Snider
But it would be uphill work, a sort of Sisyphus affair: you may get the stone to the top, but the chances are against it.
"A Pessimist" by Robert Timsol
Thus it is that the ambitious continually roll before them the rock of Sisyphus!
"Wood Rangers" by Mayne Reid
The stone of Sisyphus has been brought to the brow of the hill only to rebound again to the bottom.
"Bunyan" by James Anthony Froude
His name was Sisyphus.
"Nature Myths and Stories for Little Children" by Flora J. Cooke
Fate, however, had decreed that I should play the role of Sisyphus at Washington.
"My Three Years in America" by Johann Heinrich Andreas Hermann Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff
A perfect task of Sisyphus, indeed!
"'Jena' or 'Sedan'?" by Franz Beyerlein
Wretched humanity, rolling its stone of Sisyphus from age to age, inspires far more compassion than contempt.
"Marie Antoinette and the Downfall of Royalty" by Imbert de Saint-Amand
Poseidon, grandson of Sisyphus and local hero of Corinth.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Slice 5" by Various
Strong men have tried to lift that stone of Sisyphus, and to-day their bones whiten the cemeteries.
"More Tales by Polish Authors" by Various
It would be the fable of Sisyphus illustrated in the passing of each generation of human beings.
"A Grammar of Freethought" by Chapman Cohen
There's a labor of Sisyphus for you.
"The Sailor" by J. C. Snaith
Each of the parties was rolling the stone of Sisyphus, as Elizabeth herself remarked.
"The Hansa Towns" by Helen Zimmern
I am a moral Sisyphus, for ever rolling my poor stone up the hill difficulty.
"Mollie's Prince" by Rosa Nouchette Carey
Corinth was at first subject to the kings of Argos and Mycenae; at last Sisyphus made himself master of it.
"Ruins of Ancient Cities (Vol. I of II)" by Charles Bucke
Those splendid faculties were worn, as he would sometimes own himself, in rolling the stone of Sisyphus.
"The Life of Mazzini" by Bolton King

In poetry:

Alas! the black Cocytus, wandering to the world below,
That languid river to behold we of this earth must go;
To see the grim Danaides, that miserable race,
And Sisyphus of AEolus, condemned to endless chase.
"To Postumus" by Roswell Martin Field
But when, asudden, swift on angry flash,
Rumbled imperious thunder overhead,
At the commanding mandate, Sisyphus,
Bulkily rising, straightened limbs relaxed,
And turned him yet again unto his task,
Mumbling the while habitual lament.
"Sisyphus" by Alfred Austin

In news:

Let's hope that unlike Sisyphus, they only have to push the rock up this particular hill once.
This guy is like the modern-day version of Sisyphus, the guy who was doomed to roll as stone up a hill forever.
Sisyphus was a bit of a jerk.
Even in 2008, when Boston made his task so difficult even Sisyphus himself would have looked at him and thought, "Man, that's hard," Bryant still went off for a 36 point, 12-for-20 effort in Game 3.
Probably lost on a lot of people whose fathers are not Latin teachers and fans of mythology was my discussion of Sisyphus this morning.
What's wrong with Sisyphus, anyway.
Whenever we refer to someone working endlessly to no apparent purpose — in an office cube, a fast food restaurant, writing a blog — we invoke Sisyphus.
Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has become the modern-day version of Sisyphus.
In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a punished king who was forced to push a boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back again, and again and again.
Daniel Ladik, Seton Hall University – Consumers and the Sisyphus Effect.
Alzamora's ' Sisyphus ' etchings to be displayed at Victoria & Albert Museum.
There aren't many among us who haven't felt like Sisyphus at one time or another.
Sisyphus to the stone.
To know the worms Wiggle beneath The till of Sisyphus.
The Sisyphus of Pasadena, Sheldon Epps.

In science:

We remark that the model can be interpreted as describing a gambler (Sisyphus) who learns from his experience and adopts a new strategy whenever a ruin event occurs.
A random walk on Z with drift driven by its occupation time at zero
An atom moving within a linearly-polarized, blue-detuned standing wave, for example, undergoes Sisyphus cooling21 because the sign of the polarizability differs between the two dressed states whose relative populations are determined by the motion of the atom through the field.
Mirror-mediated cooling: a paradigm for particle cooling via the retarded dipole force
After we introduce the general extension in the next section, we then proceed to explore two prototypical 2 → J ′ = 3 systems—the J = 1 2 transition, leading to the “Sisyphus” cooling mechanism, and the J = 1 → J ′ = 2 transition—in Section III and Section IV, respectively.
Scattering theory of multilevel atoms interacting with arbitrary radiation fields
The observed cooling is limited by the trap dimensions, but large temperature reductions are expected for opto-electrical cooling , a general Sisyphus-type cooling scheme for polar molecules which can be ideally implemented in our trap.
Storage and Adiabatic Cooling of Polar Molecules in a Microstructured Trap
The proteins belong to the SISYPHUS alignment AL00088995 of homologous proteins containing a CUE domain.
CSA: Comprehensive comparison of pairwise protein structure alignments
We can avoid Γ ≪ ωz and nevertheless use laser cooling to get close to the quantum regime, by the use of ‘Sisyphus’ cooling [45, 46].
The Ion Trap Quantum Information Processor
Cohen-Tannoudji, “Sisyphus cooling of a bound atom,” J.
The Ion Trap Quantum Information Processor
The basic example is the Sisyphus or polarization gradient cooling mechanism .
Optical shielding of cold collisions in blue-detuned near-resonant optical lattices
In the more commonly applied reddetuned case one obtains the lattice structure rather easily, and can go below the Doppler limit for laser cooling due to the Sisyphus cooling mechanism.
Optical shielding of cold collisions in blue-detuned near-resonant optical lattices
The polarization gradient of the laser field modifies the lattice potential as in the Sisyphus scheme , see Fig. 2.
Optical shielding of cold collisions in blue-detuned near-resonant optical lattices
In this case the cooling and trapping mechanism resembles the traditional Sisyphus mechanism , making comparisons between our previous study of the red-detuned case more appropriate.
Optical shielding of cold collisions in blue-detuned near-resonant optical lattices
In the later type, an atom can only be trapped, whereas the former (the one considered in this paper) also exhibits an inherent cooling mechanism (Sisyphus cooling).
Anisotropic velocity distributions in 3D dissipative optical lattices
The Sisyphus cooling mechanism in an NROL has been the sub ject of extensive research due to its high cooling efficiency, but also since an optical lattice is a very pure quantum system suitable for fundamental studies of atom-light interaction.
Anisotropic velocity distributions in 3D dissipative optical lattices
In the Sisyphus cooling effect in a 3D tetragonal NROL was studied theoretically.
Anisotropic velocity distributions in 3D dissipative optical lattices
The inherent cooling process in an optical lattice for atoms with kinetic energy EK > U0 is Sisyphus cooling.
Anisotropic velocity distributions in 3D dissipative optical lattices