Definition of toil in English:

toil

Syllabification: toil
Pronunciation: /toil
 
/

verb

[no object]
  • 1Work extremely hard or incessantly: we toiled away [with infinitive]: Richard toiled to build his editorial team
    More example sentences
    • Club members had toiled long and hard to build these rooms and the photographers were showing no respect.
    • Hundreds eke out a living, toiling hard throughout the night.
    • At a distance, the cranes, the earthmovers, the construction workers toiled hard and dug deep.
    Synonyms
    work hard, labor, exert oneself, slave (away), grind away, strive, work one's fingers to the bone, put one's nose to the grindstone
    informal slog away, plug away, beaver away, work one's butt off, sweat blood
    literary travail
    archaic drudge, moil
  • 1.1 [with adverbial of direction] Move slowly and with difficulty: she began to toil up the cliff path
    More example sentences
    • I gave my pony to a native and began to toil up the hillside with the infantry.
    • The expedition continued to toil north, and continued to leak men, as deserters wilier than Collins slipped away night after night.
    • I strap everything to my pack, and toil my way up the last three miles in my soggy snowboard boots.
    Synonyms
    struggle, trudge, tramp, tromp, traipse, slog, plod, trek, drag oneself
    informal schlep

noun

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  • Exhausting physical labor: 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.
    Synonyms
    hard work, labor, exertion, slaving, drudgery, effort, industry, 'blood, sweat, and tears'; slogging, elbow grease
    literary travail
    archaic moil

Derivatives

toiler

noun
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.

Origin

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

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