[ tohl ]
See synonyms for toll on
  1. 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.

  2. the extent of loss, damage, suffering, etc., resulting from some action or calamity: The toll was 300 persons dead or missing.

  1. a tax, duty, or tribute, as for services or use of facilities.

  2. a payment made for a long-distance telephone call.

  3. (formerly, in England) the right to take such payment.

  4. a compensation for services, as for transportation or transmission.

  5. grain retained by a miller in payment for grinding.

verb (used with object)
  1. to collect (something) as toll.

  2. to impose a tax or toll on (a person).

verb (used without object)
  1. to collect toll; levy toll.

Origin of toll

First recorded before 1000; Middle English tol(le), Old English noun toll “tax, levy, custom, toll” (cognate with Dutch tol, German Zoll, Old Norse tollr ), assimilated variant of Middle English toln(e), Old English toln, from Late Latin tolōnēum, telonium, teloneum for Latin telōnēum “customs post,” from Greek telōneîon “tollhouse,” derivative of télos “tax”; the verb is derivative of the noun

Other words for toll

Other definitions for toll (2 of 3)

[ tohl ]

verb (used with object)Also tole (for defs. 5, 6).
  1. 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.

  2. to sound or strike (a knell, the hour, etc.) by such strokes: In the distance Big Ben tolled five.

  1. to announce by this means; ring a knell for (a dying or dead person).

  2. to summon or dismiss by tolling.

  3. to lure or decoy (game) by arousing curiosity.

  4. to allure; entice: He tolls us on with fine promises.

verb (used without object)
  1. to sound with single strokes slowly and regularly repeated, as a bell.

  1. the act of tolling a bell.

  2. one of the strokes made in tolling a bell.

  1. the sound made.

Origin of toll

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English tollen, tol(le) “to entice, lure, pull,” hence probably “to make (a bell) ring by pulling a rope”; akin to Old English tyllan “to draw, attract,” found only in the compound verb fortyllan “to draw off, seduce”

Other definitions for toll (3 of 3)

[ tohl ]

verb (used with object)Law.
  1. to suspend or interrupt, as a statute of limitations.

Origin of toll

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English tollen “to remove, legally annul,” from Anglo-French to(u)ller, from Latin tollere “to lift up, take away, remove” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use toll in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for toll (1 of 2)


/ (təʊl) /

  1. to ring or cause to ring slowly and recurrently

  2. (tr) to summon, warn, or announce by tolling

  1. US and Canadian to decoy (game, esp ducks)

  1. the act or sound of tolling

Origin of toll

C15: perhaps related to Old English -tyllan, as in fortyllan to attract

British Dictionary definitions for toll (2 of 2)


/ (təʊl, tɒl) /

    • 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

  1. loss or damage incurred through an accident, disaster, etc: the war took its toll of the inhabitants

  1. Also called: tollage (formerly) the right to levy a toll

  2. Also called: toll charge NZ a charge for a telephone call beyond a free-dialling area

Origin of toll

Old English toln; related to Old Frisian tolene, Old High German zol toll, from Late Latin telōnium customs house, from Greek telónion, ultimately from telos tax

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with toll


see take its toll.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.