[ moil ]
See synonyms for: moilmoiling on

verb (used without object)
  1. to work hard; drudge.

  2. to whirl or churn ceaselessly; twist; eddy.

verb (used with object)
  1. Archaic. to wet or smear.

  1. hard work or drudgery.

  2. confusion, turmoil, or trouble.

  1. Glassmaking. a superfluous piece of glass formed during blowing and removed in the finishing operation.

  2. Mining. a short hand tool with a polygonal point, used for breaking or prying out rock.

Origin of moil

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English mollen, mulllen, “to make or get wet and muddy,” from Middle French moillier, from unrecorded Vulgar Latin molliāre, derivative of Latin mollis “soft”

Other words from moil

  • moiler, noun
  • moil·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·moiled, adjective

Words Nearby moil Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use moil in a sentence

  • Others toil and moil all their lives long—and the very dogs are not pitiful in our days, as they were in the days of Lazarus.

    North and South | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • The auld moil was nane so weel furnished i' the heid, but bairnies and beasts were unco' fond o' 'im.

    Greyfriars Bobby | Eleanor Atkinson
  • Would he come clean through the moil, winning honor and his place among men?

    The Promise | James B. Hendryx
  • He has no taste for the toil and moil of money-getting,—a refined, studious, thoughtful young man.

    A Little Girl of Long Ago | Amanda Millie Douglas
  • Ginet-moils, gennet-moil, a kind of apple ripe before others.

British Dictionary definitions for moil


/ (mɔɪl) archaic, or dialect /

  1. to moisten or soil or become moist, soiled, etc

  2. (intr) to toil or drudge (esp in the phrase toil and moil)

  1. toil; drudgery

  2. confusion; turmoil

Origin of moil

C14 (to moisten; later: to work hard in unpleasantly wet conditions) from Old French moillier, ultimately from Latin mollis soft

Derived forms of moil

  • moiler, 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