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[moil] /mɔɪl/
verb (used without object)
to work hard; drudge.
to whirl or churn ceaselessly; twist; eddy.
verb (used with object)
Archaic. to wet or smear.
hard work or drudgery.
confusion, turmoil, or trouble.
Glassmaking. a superfluous piece of glass formed during blowing and removed in the finishing operation.
Mining. a short hand tool with a polygonal point, used for breaking or prying out rock.
Origin of moil
1350-1400; Middle English moillen to make or get wet and muddy < Middle French moillier < Vulgar Latin *molliāre, derivative of Latin mollis soft
Related forms
moiler, noun
moilingly, adverb
unmoiled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for moil
Historical Examples
  • And why should men toil and moil when they had been the masters of the world?

  • I'll juist tak' a leuk at the grave, moil, gin ye'll hae an ee on the dog.

    Greyfriars Bobby Eleanor Atkinson
  • Toil and moil every day from your first breath to your last, and what good does it bring you?

    Joyce's Investments Fannie E. Newberry
  • Why, then, toil and moil for mere vanities that we must leave behind us?

  • There were people who were rich; people who did not have to toil and moil—people who lived in plenty.

    Wang the Ninth Putnam Weale
  • Ah, I do not wonder you love this morning hour, when beauty reigns supreme, before the toil and moil of the world has begun.

    Floyd Grandon's Honor

    Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • If Eugene is not a success amid the toil and moil of business, he shines out pre-eminently on such occasions as these.

    Floyd Grandon's Honor

    Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • Blame them not, if for a time their limbs forget their toil and moil and their hearts their pangs and sorrows.

  • He had forgotten the calm and tranquil region that stretched beyond the moil and anguish of the strife for gain.

    Gordon Keith

    Thomas Nelson Page
  • But moil not too much under ground; for the hope of mines is very uncertain, and useth to make the planters lazy, in other things.

    Essays Francis Bacon
British Dictionary definitions for moil


to moisten or soil or become moist, soiled, etc
(intransitive) to toil or drudge (esp in the phrase toil and moil)
toil; drudgery
confusion; turmoil
Derived Forms
moiler, noun
Word Origin
C14 (to moisten; later: to work hard in unpleasantly wet conditions) from Old French moillier, ultimately from Latin mollis soft
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 moil

"to labour in the mire" [Johnson], c.1400, from Old French moillier "to wet, moisten" (12c., Modern French mouiller), from Vulgar Latin *molliare, from Latin mollis "soft," from PIE *mel- "soft" (see mild). Related: Moiled; moiling.


"toil, labor," 1612, from moil (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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