Definition of toil in English:
- 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.
- 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.
noun[mass noun] Back to top
- 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.
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'.
toilet from (mid 16th century):
A toilet was originally a cloth used as a wrapper for clothes or a covering for a dressing table, from French toilette ‘cloth, wrapper’. From the first meaning developed a group of senses relating to dressing and washing, including ‘the process of washing, dressing, and attending to your appearance’, now rather dated, which is also expressed in the French form toilette. In the 18th century it was fashionable for a lady to receive visitors during the later stages of her ‘toilet’, which led to uses such as this by the dramatist Sir Richard Steele in 1703: ‘You shall introduce him to Mrs Clerimont's Toilet.’ People started using the word for a dressing room, and, in the USA, one with washing facilities. It was not until the early 20th century that it became a particular item of plumbing, namely a lavatory. See also loo. The French word was a diminutive of toile, used for a type of dress fabric since the late 18th century, and of toils (mid 16th century) for entrapment, a figurative use of an earlier sense, ‘net’. Toil in the sense of hard work in Middle English has had a bad reputation from the start, as it was originally used to mean ‘strife, quarrel, battle’, and from then came to be used for something unpleasantly hard. It comes via French from Latin tudiculare ‘stir about’.
- 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.
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