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[toil-suh m] /ˈtɔɪl səm/
characterized by or involving toil; laborious or fatiguing.
Origin of toilsome
First recorded in 1575-85; toil1 + -some1
Related forms
toilsomely, adverb
toilsomeness, noun
wearisome, arduous, strenuous, tiring. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for toilsome
Historical Examples
  • The drive is a slow and toilsome ascent of three hours and a half.

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • It was like a toilsome passage through the workings of an iron mine.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • This was at eight or nine in the morning, after many hours' toilsome march.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • It was a toilsome and dreary march, unrelieved by aught to lessen the fatigue.

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
  • The third day of my toilsome journey was drawing to a close.

  • And the burdensome one is toilsome, while the delightsome one is pleasurable.

  • But the alternative was so toilsome that we resolved to take the chance.

  • She would not save him to live the toilsome, slavish life of the Jews.

    Fair to Look Upon

    Mary Belle Freeley
  • I set about helping him, and for an hour we labored at this hasty and toilsome moving.

    Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton
  • The temperature was just bearable, but the road was toilsome from its uneven character.

British Dictionary definitions for toilsome


Derived Forms
toilsomely, toilfully, adverb
toilsomeness, toilfulness, noun
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 toilsome

1580s, from toil + -some (1). An earlier word was toilous (early 15c.). The opposite, toilless (c.1600) is much less common.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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