toll

1 of 5

noun (1)

1
: a tax or fee paid for some liberty or privilege (as of passing over a highway or bridge)
2
: compensation for services rendered: such as
a
: a charge for transportation
b
: a charge for a long-distance telephone call
3
: a grievous or ruinous price
inflation has taken its toll
especially : cost in life or health
the death toll from the hurricane

toll

2 of 5

verb (1)

tolled; tolling; tolls

intransitive verb

: to take or levy toll

transitive verb

1
a
: to exact part of as a toll
b
: to take as toll
2
: to exact a toll from (someone)

toll

3 of 5

verb (2)

tolled; tolling; tolls

intransitive verb

: to sound with slow measured strokes
the bell tolls solemnly

transitive verb

1
: to sound (a bell) by pulling the rope
2
a
: to give signal or announcement of
the clock tolled each hour
b
: to announce by tolling
church bells tolled the death of the bishop
c
: to call to or from a place or occasion
bells tolled the congregation to church

toll

4 of 5

noun (2)

: the sound of a tolling bell

toll

5 of 5

verb (3)

variants or tole
tolled or toled; tolling or toling

transitive verb

1
2
a
: to entice (game) to approach
b
: to attract (fish) with scattered bait
c
: to lead or attract (domestic animals) to a desired point

Examples of toll in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In the decades since Rossie Wade created the ‘Black Family’ statue and a similar work, time and weather took their toll. Emily Alvarenga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Apr. 2024 Shooting for two days in the hot Atlanta sun began to take its toll on her. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2024 This was the first toll road in Texas history, officially called the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike — although for years, the Star-Telegram referred to it as, ahem, the Fort Worth-Dallas Turnpike. Matt Leclercq, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10 Apr. 2024 One explanation for the connection could involve the idea that pregnancy takes a major physical toll on the body, in terms of energy and resources. Alice Park, TIME, 8 Apr. 2024 After two months with Sylvia this had begun to take its toll. Kevin Barry, The New Yorker, 8 Apr. 2024 Stress Physical and emotional stress can take a toll on your body—and your menstrual cycle. Cristina Mutchler, Health, 7 Apr. 2024 Fears mounted Tuesday night that the toll in Monday night's tornado in the Flint area would rise to 200 dead, with property damage of $15 million. Jerome Hansen, Jack Schermerhorn, Ralph Nelson and Ken McCormick, Detroit Free Press, 6 Apr. 2024 Millions of us are working from home at least part of the week, which is a fairly stunning acknowledgment of the toll commuting took on us before the pandemic upended office life. Allison Morrow, CNN, 5 Apr. 2024
Verb
To mitigate any negative impact of congestion pricing, the M.T.A. has proposed limiting the number of times that drivers of taxis and for-hire vehicles can be tolled, giving certain low-income drivers a discount and increasing discounts for those driving into the area overnight. Ana Ley, New York Times, 26 June 2023 The name of Byron, for a long while, tolled like a bell. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 26 Feb. 2024 At the scene of the rail crash in Tempi, central Greece, relatives of the victims gathered for a memorial service as churches across the country tolled their bells 57 times Wednesday morning to honor the dead. Derek Gatopoulos and Costas Kantouris, Quartz, 28 Feb. 2024 Leon is about to be butchered by pitchfork and chainsaw-wielding Spanish farmers, but then a tolling bell suddenly psychically summons them away. WIRED, 22 June 2023 Observers noted that church bells regularly toll for Christians. Dave Orrick, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Apr. 2023 The church bell tolled four times as the names of the girls were read. Kimberly Chandler The Associated Press, Arkansas Online, 16 Sep. 2023 New York City’s plan could toll drivers entering Manhattan below 60th street up to $23 and is set to begin as soon as spring 2024. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, 21 July 2023 Church bells tolled as the service began at 10 a.m. Afterward, Jarboe and other clerics filed out of the church, followed by a group of about a half-dozen men in dark suits, who slowly carried Wilkinson’s casket to a hearse. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'toll.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English, from Vulgar Latin *tolonium, alteration of Late Latin telonium customhouse, from Greek tolōnion, from telōnēs collector of tolls, from telos tax, toll; perhaps akin to Greek tlēnai to bear

Verb (2)

Middle English, to pull, drag, toll (a bell), perhaps alteration of toilen to struggle — more at toil

Verb (3)

Middle English tollen, tolen; akin to Old English fortyllan to seduce

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (3)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of toll was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near toll

Cite this Entry

“Toll.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toll. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

toll

1 of 3 noun
1
: a tax paid for a privilege (as the use of a highway or bridge)
2
: a charge paid for a service
3
: the cost in life or health
the death toll from the hurricane

toll

2 of 3 verb
1
: to announce or call by the sounding of a bell
2
: to sound with slow strokes
the bell tolls solemnly

toll

3 of 3 noun
: the sound of a tolling bell
Etymology

Noun

Middle English toll "a tax or fee paid to be allowed to do something," from early French toll (same meaning), derived from Latin telonium "a house where duties on imports are paid and ships' cargoes are checked," derived from Greek telos "tax, toll"

Verb

Middle English tollen "to pull, drag, or toll (a bell)," perhaps from Middle English toilen "to struggle"

Legal Definition

toll

1 of 3 noun
: a charge for the use of a transportation route or facility
broadly : a charge for use
a water toll

toll

2 of 3 verb

transitive verb

1
: to take away (as a right)
2
a
: to remove the effect of
the court did not toll the statute of repose after the statutory period had expired
b
: suspend sense 2a
toll the running of the statute of limitations
compare run

intransitive verb

: to be suspended
statute of limitations tolls for a period of seventy-five days following the noticeParker v. Yen, 823 S.W.2d 359 (1991)

toll

3 of 3 noun
: a suspension of effect
the court extended the statute of limitations toll
Etymology

Noun

Old English, tax or fee paid for a liberty or privilege, ultimately from Late Latin telonium custom house, from Greek tolōnion, from telōnēs collector of tolls, from telos tax, toll

Verb

Anglo-French tollir toller to take away, make null, bar, ultimately from Latin tollere to lift up, take away

More from Merriam-Webster on toll

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