As I compile my vocabulary list, I pass by a lot of words that seem identical. For example, “tedious” and “bored”. I've researched the two words:

bored: feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one's current activity

tedious: too long, slow, or dull: tiresome or monotonous.

Does that imply that tedious is doing something that I like (but the process is slow so I say it's a tedious task), but bored is when I do something that I don't like or have no interest in, for example doing homework for school?

Are these words identical or do they have subtle nuances? If there are differences, then when should I use each word?

  • @Tyler James Young because i wasn't able to find a proper title for the question, i wanted to ask about other meaning like versus & against as in my country there's a debate around these two words can i ask them in the same topic ?or should i ask each question in a new topic ?
    – Corabict
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 19:13
  • Ask about the difference between those words in a separate question. Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 19:24
  • 1
    As for this one, the main difference between these exact words as written is that they apply to different classes of thing; “bored” describes the status of a person, while “tedious” describes a task. Tedious events tend to leave people bored, but you'd never use one of these words in place of the other. Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 19:25
  • @Tyler James Young i'm very grateful to you, thanks a lot
    – Corabict
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 19:30
  • Tedious = boring. So, the difference is simple as bored vs. boring.
    – Val
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 15:23

5 Answers 5


These two words refer to the same feeling, but from different perspectives.

How I feel is bored. What I am doing is tedious.

I am bored because my job is tedious. It bores me.


The two concepts are very much related, and both are used to describe monotonous situations. However, while tedious implies repetitive or monotonous – it isn't necessarily negative.

A woodcarver, for example, might painstakingly carve a beautiful piece with hundreds if not thousands of careful and meticulous cuts. Rather than finding this tedious work boring, though, she might describe it as relaxing or even comforting. In other words, one antonym for tedious would be exciting, but another antonym might be stressful. A toll-taker might have a tedious job, but, conceivably, the toll-taker might thankful for that tedium, particularly if it's someone who prefers a job that is steeped in routine.

On the other hand, boring seems to connote being too unspectacular, to the point where someone would prefer more excitement or activity.

While both words can be (and often are) used in a negative sense, I think tedious can be more neutral in some contexts. I think you correctly touched on this in your question when you talked about doing something that you enjoy even if the process is slow.

  • that was brilliant, I've learned a lot from your comment it was insightful thank you
    – Corabict
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 0:46

The activity or the material is tedious. The person is bored.

Put another way, something that is tedious is boring. The tedious (boring) material makes you bored.


Two issues.

One: As others have noted, "bored" describes the state of mind of the person, while "tedious" describes a characteristic of the thing.

A person can be tedious, but that means that he is tedious to others. An activity cannot be bored. You cannot say, "My math homework is bored." You can say, "My math homework is boring." Meaning, it causes boredom.

Two: "Tedious" means repetitive, monotonous, or long and drawn out. Those are certainly attributes of a task that can cause boredom. But they are not the only possible things that can cause boredom. I might be bored by a task that is highly varied just because it doesn't interest me. Like, I think writing poetry is boring because I'm just not interested. But writing poetry is a highly creative endeavor. I don't think it would be correct to call it tedious.


To clarify the different perspectives stated above the way I see it:

bored is a passive sense verb and tedious is the active sense verb.

In other words, if you are doing nothing or nothing is happening to you can use bored but if you are doing something or something is happening to you can use tedious.

Here some extra information that I found on boredom which re-enforces the passivity of the term:

Bored - when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, and not interested in their surroundings.

I would say boredom is a state in which you fall into through a tedious action or a disinterested state.

Applying to others the word "boring"(adv.) can be applied to an item or person which is seen as uninteresting to you. The actions of that item may be said to be tedious.

(Don't get too bored!)

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