elbow grease


Definition of elbow grease 

: hard work There is just no substitution for the elbow grease involved in promotion. You just have to get out there and work hard to get the word to the stores that the book is available.— Andy Shafran especially : vigorously applied physical labor or effort Best of all, the metal handle is bendable, making it easy to defat liquids of varying depths. Kudos to a kitchen tool that spares elbow grease. — Grace Young

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Examples of elbow grease in a Sentence

It's going to take some elbow grease to get this counter clean. with a little polish and a lot of elbow grease, I was able to make the old silver teapot shine again

Recent Examples on the Web

There is a deep sense of pride among General Electric retirees who know their sweat, brain power and elbow grease built an iconic American company that stood for decades as a global industry stalwart. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "General Electric's downward spiral continues to slam retirees," 29 June 2018 Physical exfoliants are scrubs, which slough away old cells with gritty substances and a touch of elbow grease, whereas chemical exfoliants use dead skin cell melting substances like glycolic or lactic acids to unstick stubborn cells. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How to Get Glowing Skin," 25 June 2018 But clearly that doesn't stop her from rollin' up her sleeves and putting in some elbow grease to bake some yummy treats. Taylor Seely, USA TODAY, "3 ways Jennifer Garner shows she's just like us in her 'fake cooking show'," 21 June 2018 This little kitchen trick could save you tons of elbow grease. Sasha Henriques, Woman's Day, "NEVER Scrub a Pot or Pan Again with This Simple Trick," 18 Aug. 2015 Much more than elbow grease' In Glendale, Voelker said, closing Glen Lakes would further denigrate an already struggling neighborhood. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "Can golf be saved? Glendale residents rally to save ailing Glen Lakes course," 19 June 2018 Her Rotarians had not just written her a check but came and put in the elbow grease to get the job done. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Rotarians offer helping hand to Harvey victim in Dayton," 28 Mar. 2018 Thanks to all their elbow grease and strategic shopping, the couple was able to keep costs way down. Michelle Higgins, New York Times, "Making the Most of a Tiny Kitchen on a Tiny Budget," 15 May 2018 Geer moved in and dug in, armed with plenty of elbow grease. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "Bed & Breakfast Opens At Geer Tree Farm," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elbow grease.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of elbow grease

1672, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for elbow grease

The first known use of elbow grease was in 1672

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More Definitions for elbow grease

elbow grease


English Language Learners Definition of elbow grease

: physical effort : hard work

More from Merriam-Webster on elbow grease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elbow grease

Comments on elbow grease

What made you want to look up elbow grease? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


noxious or harmful

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