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elbow grease

strenuous physical exertion:
a job requiring elbow grease.
Origin of elbow grease
1630-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for elbow grease
  • Use baking soda and elbow grease instead of chemical bathroom cleaners to clean your bathtub.
  • Baking soda does a marvelous job of oven cleaning and refrigerator cleaning with a bit of elbow grease.
  • elbow grease is also a good answer for cutting boards and surfaces.
  • If all else fails, you can power devices on elbow grease.
  • The isopropyl alcohol removed the mark but only after some elbow grease.
  • Getting that look will take a lot of elbow grease, and cause wear and tear on the wood.
  • We need volunteers who can use adhesive remover, biodegradable soap, and elbow grease to clean them up for our workshops.
  • The students spent many hours and a lot of elbow grease removing all of the old paint from the marker.
  • Tools and a little elbow grease can keep weeds and harmful bugs at bay without the need for toxics.
  • When washing dishes, use hot water and elbow grease, not soap.
British Dictionary definitions for elbow grease

elbow grease

(facetious) vigorous physical labour, esp hard rubbing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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elbow grease in Culture

elbow grease definition

Strenuous physical effort: “If you're going to get this job done, you'll need to apply a little elbow grease.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for elbow grease

elbow grease

noun phrase

Muscular exertion; physical effort (1710+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with elbow grease

elbow grease

Strenuous physical effort, as in You'll have to use some elbow grease to get the house painted in time. This term alludes to vigorous use of one's arm in cleaning, polishing, or the like. It soon was extended to any kind of hard work, and Anthony Trollope used it still more figuratively (Thackeray, 1874): “Forethought is the elbow-grease which a novelist ... requires.” [ First half of 1600s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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