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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for moiling
Historical Examples
  • Where the eager crowd is moiling, struggling on with weary tread!

    Rippling Rhymes

    Walt Mason
  • You'll have a little something to live on; and that's all I've done with my toiling and moiling.

    Sarah's School Friend

    May Baldwin
  • Like a plough-horse, I have always to be moiling and toiling.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • And a whole army now toiling and moiling for him every night, for him the chief and master.

    The Bill-Toppers Andre Castaigne
  • Patriotism, racialism, unionism, had all been lost in a moiling megalopolitanism.

    This Crowded Earth Robert Bloch
  • I wonder if I am to go on all my life toiling and moiling for money?

    Wives and Daughters

    Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • You can't go on at it always, toiling and moiling as you're doing now.

    Rachel Ray

    Anthony Trollope
  • The more they love their husbands, the less they like the idea of their toiling and moiling.

  • Thou camest of toiling and moiling, planning, digging, and stone-breaking.

    From the Oak to the Olive Julia Ward Howe
  • Give up your gold-hunting, and toiling and moiling after honor and glory, and copy us.

    Westward Ho! Charles Kingsley
British Dictionary definitions for moiling


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 moiling



"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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