characterized by or involving toil; laborious or fatiguing.

Origin of toilsome

First recorded in 1575–85; toil1 + -some1
Related formstoil·some·ly, adverbtoil·some·ness, noun

Synonyms for toilsome Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for toilsomely

Historical Examples of toilsomely

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for toilsomely




Derived Formstoilsomely or toilfully, adverbtoilsomeness or 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

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