- a payment or fee exacted by the state, the local authorities, etc., for some right or privilege, as for passage along a road or over a bridge.
- the extent of loss, damage, suffering, etc., resulting from some action or calamity: The toll was 300 persons dead or missing.
- a tax, duty, or tribute, as for services or use of facilities.
- a payment made for a long-distance telephone call.
- (formerly, in England) the right to take such payment.
- a compensation for services, as for transportation or transmission.
- grain retained by a miller in payment for grinding.
- to collect (something) as toll.
- to impose a tax or toll on (a person).
- to collect toll; levy toll.
Origin of toll1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to cause (a large bell) to sound with single strokes slowly and regularly repeated, as for summoning a congregation to church, or especially for announcing a death.
- to sound or strike (a knell, the hour, etc.) by such strokes: In the distance Big Ben tolled five.
- to announce by this means; ring a knell for (a dying or dead person).
- to summon or dismiss by tolling.
- to lure or decoy (game) by arousing curiosity.
- to allure; entice: He tolls us on with fine promises.
- to sound with single strokes slowly and regularly repeated, as a bell.
- the act of tolling a bell.
- one of the strokes made in tolling a bell.
- the sound made.
Origin of toll2
- to suspend or interrupt (as a statute of limitations).
Origin of toll3
Examples from the Web for toll
While the look worked for some, the combination of heat and chemicals took a toll on the hair of others.Goodbye To A Natural Hair Guru: Miss Jessie's Cofounder Titi Branch Dead At 45
December 16, 2014
“The amount of literal brainwork needed to do his job too such a toll on him that it sent him to an early grave,” Goode says.From ‘The Good Wife’ to ‘The Imitation Game’: Matthew Goode Wages His Charm Offensive
November 24, 2014
Unemployment and the lack of opportunities for young men are taking their toll.The Secret Life of an ISIS Warlord
Will Cathcart, Vazha Tavberidze, Nino Burchuladze
October 27, 2014
And though Omran seems truly happy to see me, the last couple of years, and few weeks in particular, have taken their toll on him.Beating Cancer & Dodging Israel's Bombs
September 1, 2014
Come on, stand up, brother, father, toll the tocsin [alarm bell]!Ukraine Separatists' Pro-Putin Raps
June 23, 2014
We were within the vestibule before he had begun to toll the years.
Because, as goddess of the land, she claims her toll, the toll of human blood.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
At the first stroke of twelve the prison-bell began to toll.Barnaby Rudge
Suddenly the bell began to toll with slow and regular strokes.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
The church bell began to toll, and Kate started up and listened.The Manxman
- to ring or cause to ring slowly and recurrently
- (tr) to summon, warn, or announce by tolling
- US and Canadian to decoy (game, esp ducks)
- the act or sound of tolling
- an amount of money levied, esp for the use of certain roads, bridges, etc, to cover the cost of maintenance
- (as modifier)toll road; toll bridge
- loss or damage incurred through an accident, disaster, etcthe war took its toll of the inhabitants
- Also called: tollage (formerly) the right to levy a toll
- Also called: toll charge NZ a charge for a telephone call beyond a free-dialling area
Word Origin and History for toll
"tax, fee," Old English toll, variant of toln, cognate with Old Norse tollr, Old Frisian tolen, Old High German zol, German Zoll, representing an early Germanic borrowing from Late Latin tolonium "custom house," from Latin telonium "tollhouse," from Greek teloneion "tollhouse," from telones "tax-collector," from telos "tax" (see tele-; for sense, cf. finance). Originally in a general sense of "payment exacted by an authority;" meaning "charge for right of passage along a road" is from late 15c.
"to sound with single strokes," mid-15c., probably a special use of tollen "to draw, lure," early 13c. variant of Old English -tyllan in betyllan "to lure, decoy," and fortyllan "draw away, seduce," of obscure origin. The notion is perhaps of "luring" people to church with the sound of the bells, or of "drawing" on the bell rope. Related: Tolled; tolling.
Idioms and Phrases with toll
see take its toll.