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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
work/labour/toil in obscurity (=work without being well-known)
▪ After years of working in obscurity, his paintings are now hanging in museums.
▪ The workers and peasants toil and sweat to service debts owed to the international bankers and multilateral agencies.
▪ Today less than thirty thousand workers toil in those same coal mines.
▪ Elsewhere, factory workers toiled twelve hours a day, six days a week, and their hollow-eyed children worked with them.
▪ Men. women and children spent long hours toiling in the fields, whatever the weather conditions.
▪ My immigrant parents toiled night and day to make a living.
▪ Roger and his wife toiled round the clock for seven years to make a success of their business.
▪ For a year, birthday preparation committees throughout the nation have toiled for this moment.
▪ For eight years, he toiled in the House minority party.
▪ The workers and peasants toil and sweat to service debts owed to the international bankers and multilateral agencies.
▪ This was a process in which I had never engaged back in the bad old days when I toiled on a typewriter.
▪ Today less than thirty thousand workers toil in those same coal mines.
▪ Here began their arduous toil to force a living from the land.
▪ man's desire for freedom from physical toil
▪ After four carefree years, one enters the Company, where the daily round of obedient toil begins again.
▪ From now on Adam's work is to be sweat and toil.
▪ Man is made to relieve the gods of the toil of keeping the earth in order.
▪ Mortal pain and toil have yielded before the promise of redemption in Revelations.
▪ Such toil could easily be made unnecessary if a little social effort and investment could be applied.
▪ There was no time for the arduous toil required to master a foreign language.
▪ These, although mortal, lived like gods without sorrow of heart, far from toil and pain.
▪ Working copy: not likely to withstand further toil.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Toil \Toil\, n. [F. toiles, pl., toils, nets, fr. toile cloth, canvas, spider web, fr. L. tela any woven stuff, a web, fr. texere to weave. See Text, and cf. Toilet.] A net or snare; any thread, web, or string spread for taking prey; -- usually in the plural.

As a Numidian lion, when first caught, Endures the toil that holds him.

Then toils for beasts, and lime for birds, were found.


Toil \Toil\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Toiled; p. pr. & vb. n. Toiling.] [OE. toilen to pull about, to toil; of uncertain origin; cf. OD. teulen, tuylen, to labor, till, or OF. tooillier, toailler, to wash, rub (cf. Towel); or perhaps ultimately from the same root as E. tug.] To exert strength with pain and fatigue of body or mind, especially of the body, with efforts of some continuance or duration; to labor; to work.


Toil \Toil\, v. t.

  1. To weary; to overlabor. [Obs.] ``Toiled with works of war.''

  2. To labor; to work; -- often with out. [R.]

    Places well toiled and husbanded.

    [I] toiled out my uncouth passage.


Toil \Toil\, n. [OE. toil turmoil, struggle; cf. OD. tuyl labor, work. See Toil, v.] Labor with pain and fatigue; labor that oppresses the body or mind, esp. the body.

My task of servile toil.

After such bloody toil, we bid good night.

Note: Toil is used in the formation of compounds which are generally of obvious signification; as, toil-strung, toil-wasted, toil-worn, and the like.

Syn: Labor; drudgery; work; exertion; occupation; employment; task; travail.

Usage: Toil, Labor, Drudgery. Labor implies strenuous exertion, but not necessary such as overtasks the faculties; toil denotes a severity of labor which is painful and exhausting; drudgery implies mean and degrading work, or, at least, work which wearies or disgusts from its minuteness or dull uniformity.

You do not know the heavy grievances, The toils, the labors, weary drudgeries, Which they impose.

How often have I blessed the coming day, When toil remitting lent its turn to play.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 14c., toilen, "pull at, tug," from Anglo-French toiller, Old French toellier "pull or drag about" (see toil (n.1)). Intransitive meaning "struggle, work hard, labor for considerable time" is from late 14c., perhaps by influence of till (v.). Related: Toiled; toiling.\n\n


"hard work," c.1300, originally "turmoil, contention, dispute," from Anglo-French toil (13c.), from toiler "agitate, stir up, entangle, writhe about," from Old French toeillier "drag about, make dirty" (12c.), usually said to be from Latin tudiculare "crush with a small hammer," from tudicula "mill for crushing olives, instrument for crushing," from Latin tudes "hammer," from PIE *tud-, variant of *(s)teu- "to push, stroke, knock, beat" (see obtuse). Sense of "hard work, labor" (1590s) is from the related verb (see toil (v.)).


"net, snare," 1520s, from Middle French toile "hunting net, cloth, web" (compare toile d'araignée "cobweb"), from Old French toile "cloth" (11c.), from Latin tela "web, net, warp of a fabric," from PIE *teks- "to weave" (see texture (n.)). Now used largely in plural (as in caught in the toils of the law).


n. 1 labour, work 2 trouble, strife 3 A net or snare; any thread, web, or string spread for taking prey; usually in the plural. vb. 1 (context intransitive English) To labour; work. 2 (context intransitive English) To struggle. 3 (context transitive English) To work (something); often with ''out''. 4 (context transitive English) To weary through excessive labour.


n. productive work (especially physical work done for wages); "his labor did not require a great deal of skill" [syn: labor, labour]


v. work hard; "She was digging away at her math homework"; "Lexicographers drudge all day long" [syn: labor, labour, fag, travail, grind, drudge, dig, moil]

Toil (album)

Toil is a studio album by the Chicago Celtic punk band Flatfoot 56, released on August 14, 2012, by Paper + Plastick. The release is the fourth studio album released by the group since they were signed by a label. Johnny Rioux, a member of the Celtic punk band Street Dogs, returned as the producer.

The album was released to generally favorable reviews. Critics and fans enjoyed the album's diversity of sound and song writing. Reviewers described the album's songs as working-class anthems with Christian themes. The final track on the album, a Celtic punk cover of the hymn " I'll Fly Away", was well received by music critics. The album produced one single, "I Believe It", that was released as a music video. Both the album and the single failed to chart. The track "Winter in Chicago" was featured on the soundtrack for the video game Watch Dogs.


Toil may refer to:

  • Manual labour

In literature:

  • "Toil" (Shlonsky poem) (Hebrew: "Amal"), a 1928 Hebrew-language Zionist settler poem by Avraham Shlonsky
  • Toil, an 1890 English translation of Timofei Bondarev's treatise The Triumph of the Farmer or Industry and Parasitism
  • "Toil" (English: "Will"), a Gaelic poem by Seán Ó Ríordáin

In music:

  • The Wings of Fire Vol.II: "Toil", a 1997 album by Philippe Leduc
  • "Toil", a 2008 song by Warship from Supply and Depend
  • Toil (album), a 2012 album by Flatfoot 56
    • "Toil", a 2012 song by Flatfoot 56 from the album Toil
Toil (Shlonsky poem)

"Toil" (Hebrew: עָמָל Amal) is a 1928 poem by Avraham Shlonsky. The poem forms part of a sequence named after Mount Gilboa. and reflects the author's life six years after his arrival in Palestine, while working on paving roads with other members of the Third Aliyah. The poem begins "We have a small hand with five fingers, Wax fingers thin to breaking. The pulse beats at their beginning and at their end—fingernails." The poem is celebrated for its re-imagining of the religious imagery of Judaism in terms of the settlers' Zionist pioneer construction ethic. An example is found in how prayer shawls and phylacteries are used as metaphors to describe the emotions of the pioneers as they build roads: "Dress me, good mother, in a glorious robe of many colors, ..." In the poem "toil" becomes a form of worship itself, or, per Chowers (2012), "an altar at which to worship".

Usage examples of "toil".

How many scriveners and amanuenses had toiled in service to the Vicars of Christ, their secretariats, councils, and tribunals?

They were indeed the same dark folk who had shanghaied Carter on their noisome galley so long ago, and whose kith he had seen driven in herds about the unclean wharves of that accursed lunar city, with the leaner ones toiling and the fatter ones taken away in crates for other needs of their polypous and amorphous masters.

I brought Ancel back to Caliburn with me to toil in the kitchens, for he had only his own word that his blood was proud, and there were many who might say the same and have more proof of it.

Men of courtly nurture, heirs to the polish of a far-reaching ancestry, here, with their dauntless hardihood, put to shame the boldest sons of toil.

He dreaded being sent back to the Tower even more than he dreaded a beating for stealing illegal passage on the Windship, but if he were allowed to remain in the city, would he not merely end up as a drudge, toiling in sunless chambers for the rest of his life, polishing aumbries, bleeding, broken?

Toil on, labour like a very bandog and let scholarment and all Malthusiasts go hang.

The Indian stood despoiled of lands, The Negro bound with servile bands, Oppressed through weary years of toil, His blood and tears bedewed the soil.

And they toiled on till they reached the spot where the cold water bubbled out from a pebbly hollow under an old tree.

The cabman looked at the pieces of silver, which, appearing very minute in his big, grimy palm, symbolised the insignificant results which reward the ambitious courage and toil of a mankind whose day is short on this earth of evil.

We have seen the application of the oil of vitriol to Calamine yields white vitriol and know how this agent toils against the powers of destruction and rot.

I often thought afterwards of those poor wretches toiling away underground and wondered how the other canary got along who took my place.

I did understand perfectly well at the time that the moment the breath left the body of the Magnificent Capataz, the Man of the People, freed at last from the toils of love and wealth, there was nothing more for me to do in Sulaco.

Vavasour, as he toiled and toiled at his ingenious and graceful cheateries, pleased himself with anticipating the importance and advantages the heir to his labours would enjoy.

With some difficulty I made out a little door, which I judged to be the only one by which she could pass, but to go from there to the casino was no small matter, since one was obliged to fetch a wide course, and with one oar I could not do the passage in less than a quarter of an hour, and that with much toil.

Straight on towards us came the toiling ship, the dip of oars resonant in the hollow fog and a ripple babbling on her cutwater plainly discernible.