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toil1

[toil] /tɔɪl/
noun
1.
hard and continuous work; exhausting labor or effort.
2.
a laborious task.
3.
Archaic. battle; strife; struggle.
verb (used without object)
4.
to engage in hard and continuous work; labor arduously:
to toil in the fields.
5.
to move or travel with difficulty, weariness, or pain.
verb (used with object)
6.
to accomplish or produce by toil.
Origin of toil1
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English toile (noun), toilen (v.) < Anglo-French toil contention, toiler to contend < Latin tudiculāre to stir up, beat, verbal derivative of tudicula machine for crushing olives, equivalent to tudi- (stem of tundere to beat) + -cula -cule2
Related forms
toiler, noun
untoiling, adjective
Synonyms
1. exertion, travail, pains. See work. 4. strive, moil.
Antonyms
1. indolence, sloth.

toil2

[toil] /tɔɪl/
noun
1.
Usually, toils. a net or series of nets in which game known to be in the area is trapped or into which game outside of the area is driven.
2.
Usually, toils. trap; snare:
to be caught in the toils of a gigantic criminal conspiracy.
3.
Archaic. any snare or trap for wild beasts.
Origin
1520-30; < French toile < Latin tēla web
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for toil
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Was such a life, mounting to such a close, a thing to long for and toil for?

  • What they have taken in hand to do seems worth toil, danger, and life itself.

    The Three Golden Apples Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Having lived all his life in toil and poverty, he had never had the time to love.

    Pierre Grassou Honore de Balzac
  • Very many years of toil had taken the elasticity out of step and voice.

    American Notes Rudyard Kipling
  • Now these were so distressed by the toil of their pursuit, that they thought proper to put off fighting till the next day.

    The Antiquities of the Jews Flavius Josephus
British Dictionary definitions for toil

toil1

/tɔɪl/
noun
1.
hard or exhausting work
2.
an obsolete word for strife
verb
3.
(intransitive) to labour
4.
(intransitive) to progress with slow painful movements: to toil up a hill
5.
(transitive) (archaic) to achieve by toil
Derived Forms
toiler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-French toiler to struggle, from Old French toeillier to confuse, from Latin tudiculāre to stir, from tudicula machine for bruising olives, from tudes a hammer, from tundere to beat

toil2

/tɔɪl/
noun
1.
(often pl) a net or snare: the toils of fortune had ensnared him
2.
(archaic) a trap for wild beasts
Word Origin
C16: from Old French toile, from Latin tēla loom
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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Word Origin and History for toil
n.

"hard work," c.1300, "turmoil, contention, dispute," from Anglo-French toil (13c.), from toiler "agitate, stir up, entangle," from Old French toeillier "drag about, make dirty" (12c.), usually said to be from Latin tudiculare "crush with a small hammer," from tudicula "mill for crushing olives, instrument for crushing," from root of tundere "to pound" (see obtuse). Sense of "hard work, labor" (1590s) is from the related verb (see toil (v.)).

"net, snare," 1520s, from Middle French toile "hunting net, cloth, web" (cf. toile d'araignée "cobweb"), from Old French teile, from Latin tela "web, woven stuff," related to texere "to weave" (see texture). Now used largely in plural (caught in the toils of the law).

v.

c.1300, toilen, "pull at, tug;" late 14c. as "struggle, work, labor," from Anglo-French tuailler, Old French toellier (see toil (n.1)). Related: Toiled; toiling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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