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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for toilsomely
Historical Examples
  • By ladders now, and toilsomely, for it was steep, and not too certain holding for the feet.

    The Chimes Charles Dickens
  • The type of beauty produced is charming by its negligence and naïveté; it is not thought out with pains or toilsomely elaborated.

    Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3 John Addington Symonds
  • toilsomely, and at cost of desperately hard marching and fighting, he had made himself master of the strategic position.

  • Night fell while the travellers were toilsomely penetrating further into the West Riding of Yorkshire.

    A Gentleman Player Robert Neilson Stephens
  • So thinks, at any rate, a horseman, toilsomely making his way over its inhospitable expanse.

    Renshaw Fanning's Quest Bertram Mitford
  • After that a covered van, toilsomely dragged along by tired horses and guarded by armed slaves in livery.

  • There is no steep slope corresponding to that which we have ascended so toilsomely, only a gentle incline towards the Zambesi.

    Stanley in Africa James P. Boyd
  • But she rowed back with the old brown dory almost as empty as when she had rowed it toilsomely out to her traps.

    Judith Lynn Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • Frederick toilsomely clambered up to the promenade deck and crept into the overcrowded smoking-room.

    Atlantis Gerhart Hauptmann
  • At our feet is the Little American Valley, in which is the road, up the eastern portion of which we have so toilsomely climbed.

    The Lake of the Sky George Wharton James
British Dictionary definitions for toilsomely


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 toilsomely



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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