[ toil ]
/ tɔɪl /


hard and continuous work; exhausting labor or effort.
a laborious task.
Archaic. battle; strife; struggle.

verb (used without object)

to engage in hard and continuous work; labor arduously: to toil in the fields.
to move or travel with difficulty, weariness, or pain.

verb (used with object)

to accomplish or produce by toil.

Origin of toil

1250–1300; Middle English toile (noun), toilen (v.) < Anglo-French toil contention, toiler to contend < Latin tudiculāre to stir up, beat, verbal derivative of tudicula machine for crushing olives, equivalent to tudi- (stem of tundere to beat) + -cula -cule2

Related forms

toil·er, nounun·toil·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for toiling

British Dictionary definitions for toiling (1 of 2)


/ (tɔɪl) /


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

Derived Forms

toiler, noun

Word Origin for toil

C13: from Anglo-French toiler to struggle, from Old French toeillier to confuse, from Latin tudiculāre to stir, from tudicula machine for bruising olives, from tudes a hammer, from tundere to beat

British Dictionary definitions for toiling (2 of 2)


/ (tɔɪl) /


(often plural) a net or snarethe toils of fortune had ensnared him
archaic a trap for wild beasts

Word Origin for toil

C16: from Old French toile, from Latin tēla loom
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