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toil / toil/ • v. [intr.] work extremely hard or incessantly: we toiled away | Richard toiled to build his editorial team. ∎  move slowly and with difficulty: she began to toil up the cliff path. • n. exhausting physical labor: a life of toil. DERIVATIVES: toil·er n. ORIGIN: Middle English (in the senses ‘contend verbally’ and ‘strife’): from Anglo-Norman French toiler ‘strive, dispute,’ toil ‘confusion,’ from Latin tudiculare ‘stir around,’ from tudicula ‘machine for crushing olives,’ related to tundere ‘crush.’