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noun \ˈtȯi(-ə)l\

Definition of toil

  1. 1 archaic a :  struggle, battleb :  laborious effort

  2. 2 :  long strenuous fatiguing labor

toilful play \-fəl\ adjective
toilfully play \-fə-lē\ adverb

Origin of toil

Middle English toile, from Anglo-French toyl, from toiller

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of toil

work, labor, travail, toil, drudgery, grind mean activity involving effort or exertion. work may imply activity of body, of mind, of a machine, or of a natural force <too tired to do any work>. labor applies to physical or intellectual work involving great and often strenuous exertion <farmers demanding fair compensation for their labor>. travail is bookish for labor involving pain or suffering <years of travail were lost when the house burned>. toil implies prolonged and fatiguing labor <his lot would be years of back-breaking toil>. drudgery suggests dull and irksome labor <an editorial job with a good deal of drudgery>. grind implies labor exhausting to mind or body <the grind of the assembly line>.

work, employment, occupation, calling, pursuit, métier, business mean a specific sustained activity engaged in especially in earning one's living. work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not <her work as a hospital volunteer>. employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer <your employment with this firm is hereby terminated>. occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training <his occupation as a trained auto mechanic>. calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession <the ministry seemed my true calling>. pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest <her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit>. métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted <acting was my one and only métier>. business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs <the business of managing a hotel>.




Simple Definition of toil

  • : to work very hard for a long time

  • : to move slowly and with a lot of effort

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of toil

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to work hard and long

  3. 2 :  to proceed with laborious effort :  plod

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 archaic :  overwork

  6. 2 archaic :  to get or accomplish with great effort

toiler play \ˈtȯi-lər\ noun

Examples of toil in a sentence

  1. workers toiling in the fields

  2. They were toiling up a steep hill.

Origin of toil

Middle English, to argue, struggle, from Anglo-French toiller to make dirty, fight, wrangle, from Latin tudiculare to crush, grind, from tudicula machine for crushing olives, diminutive of tudes hammer; akin to Latin tundere to beat — more at contusion

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with toil




Definition of toil

  1. 1 :  a net to trap game

  2. 2 :  something by which one is held fast or inextricably involved :  snare, trap —usually used in plural <caught in the toils of the law>

Origin of toil

Middle French toile cloth, net, from Old French teile, Latin tela cloth on a loom — more at subtle

First Known Use: circa 1529

TOIL Defined for Kids



noun \ˈtȯil\

Definition of toil for Students

  1. :  long hard labor




Definition of toil for Students


  1. 1 :  to work hard and long

  2. 2 :  to go on with effort <They were toiling up a steep hill.>

Seen and Heard

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a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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