Definition of toil in English:


Line breaks: toil
Pronunciation: /tɔɪl


[no object]


[mass noun] Back to top  
  • Exhausting physical labour: a life of toil
    More example sentences
    • I have discovered that when it comes to physical toil, some work placement students act like consultants.
    • Nevertheless, the joy of knowing that those bookshelves were the result of your own toil and labour can be beyond measure, even if they are a bit wonky.
    • For the most part, food on the journey would be simple: something that stored well and needed little preparation, and yet was hearty enough to give the energy needed for hard physical toil.
    hard work, toiling, labour, slaving, struggle, effort, exertion, application, industry, grind, slog, {blood, sweat, and tears}, drudgery
    informal sweat, elbow grease
    British informal graft
    Australian/New Zealand informal (hard) yakka
    archaic travail, moil



More example sentences
  • He speaks frequently; the old man speaks from time to time; the woman says almost nothing; but the toilers in the field, row upon row, catch only a few words each before the procession moves on.
  • They preferred to claim that they had resisted the charms of embourgeoisement and still stood shoulder to shoulder with the fellow toilers from whom they or their parents had sprung.
  • Italy has seen the success of the Slow Food movement, and at a recent conference on idling there, it was claimed that idlers are smarter than toilers as they can do the same amount of work in half the time.


Middle English (in the senses 'contend verbally' and 'strife'): from Anglo-Norman French toiler 'strive, dispute', toil 'confusion', from Latin tudiculare 'stir about', from tudicula 'machine for crushing olives', related to tundere 'crush'.

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