- hard and continuous work; exhausting labor or effort.
- a laborious task.
- Archaic. battle; strife; struggle.
- to engage in hard and continuous work; labor arduously: to toil in the fields.
- to move or travel with difficulty, weariness, or pain.
- to accomplish or produce by toil.
Origin of toil1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for toiling
Since I was toiling away at the time as a gossip columnist for The Washington Post, I immediately called him back.Despite Crack and Graft, D.C. Loved ‘Hizzoner’ Marion Barry
November 23, 2014
So, after toiling away for two decades, Elba has finally crossed over from critically acclaimed actor to bona fide tabloid fodder.Idris Elba’s Battle of the Bulge: Moose Knuckles and Sexist Double Standards
August 11, 2014
Like many New Yorkers toiling away in day jobs, Reeger has a secret second life.In Sandy’s Wake, a New York Doorman Without a Home
November 23, 2012
While the aspiring designers were toiling, in a neighboring conference room 49 girls were gathered for Modeling Camp NYC.Camp Fashion Design Draws Budding Designers To New York
July 13, 2012
But instead, Sorkin–then toiling on The Social Network for Sony–was hired to take a pass at the script.How ‘Moneyball’ Almost Never Happened
September 24, 2011
The brave man went on toiling and learning through suffering.Self-Help
He was able to discern him, after a little effort, toiling up the steep slopes.The Martian Cabal
Roman Frederick Starzl
He has been toiling hard many a year for it, Dinah, don't forget that.Barrington
Charles James Lever
She had been toiling through the lanes after Willie and his papa.What the Blackbird said
Mrs. Frederick Locker
Are you always to go on toiling for the miserable comforts of other people?The Doctor's Family
Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
- hard or exhausting work
- an obsolete word for strife
- (intr) to labour
- (intr) to progress with slow painful movementsto toil up a hill
- (tr) archaic to achieve by toil
- (often plural) a net or snarethe toils of fortune had ensnared him
- archaic a trap for wild beasts
Word Origin and History for toiling
"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).
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.