elbow grease

noun
|Updated on: 9 Jul 2018

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

Examples of elbow grease in a Sentence

  1. It's going to take some elbow grease to get this counter clean.

  2. with a little polish and a lot of elbow grease, I was able to make the old silver teapot shine again

Recent Examples of elbow grease from the Web

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.

First Known Use of elbow grease

1672

in the meaning defined above

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ELBOW GREASE Defined for English Language Learners

elbow grease

Definition of elbow grease for English Language Learners

  • : physical effort : hard work


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