toils


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

toil 1

 (toil)
intr.v. toiled, toil·ing, toils
1. To labor continuously; work strenuously.
2. To proceed with difficulty: "The old woman ... proceeded to toil up the narrow staircase before us" (James Joyce).
n.
1. Exhausting labor or effort. See Synonyms at work.
2. Archaic Strife; contention.

[Middle English toilen, from Anglo-Norman toiler, to stir about, from Latin tudiculāre, from tudicula, a machine for bruising olives, diminutive of tudes, hammer.]

toil′er n.

toil 2

 (toil)
n.
1. often toils Something that binds, snares, or entangles one; an entrapment: caught in the toils of despair.
2. Archaic A net for trapping game.

[French toile, cloth, from Old French teile, from Latin tēla, web; see teks- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Translations

toils

[tɔɪlz] NPL (liter) (= snares, nets) → redes fpl, lazos mpl

toils

pl (old, lit)Netze pl; (fig)Maschen pl, → Schlingen pl
References in classic literature ?
Within lie snoods that bound her hair, Slippers that have danced their last, Faded flowers laid by with care, Fans whose airy toils are past, Gay valentines, all ardent flames, Trifles that have borne their part In girlish hopes and fears and shames, The record of a maiden heart Now learning fairer, truer spells, Hearing, like a blithe refrain, The silver sound of bridal bells In the falling summer rain.
It was a feature peculiar to the colonial wars of North America, that the toils and dangers of the wilderness were to be encountered before the adverse hosts could meet.
Never before had she had such a sense of the intolerable length of time that creeps between dawn and sunset, and of the miserable irksomeness of having aught to do, and of the better wisdom that it would be to lie down at once, in sullen resignation, and let life, and its toils and vexations, trample over one's prostrate body as they may
Some of the briefer articles, which contribute to make up the volume, have likewise been written since my involuntary withdrawal from the toils and honours of public life, and the remainder are gleaned from annuals and magazines, of such antique date, that they have gone round the circle, and come back to novelty again.
For my part, I abominate all honorable respectable toils, trials, and tribulations of every kind whatsoever.
You can feel them in the air round about him, capering frenetically; with their invisible feet they set the pace, and the hair of the leader of the orchestra rises on end, and his eyeballs start from their sockets, as he toils to keep up with them.
Think, O Jesus, for what reason Thou endured'st earth's spite and treason, Nor me lose, in that dread season; Seeking me, thy wom feet hasted, On the cross thy soul death tasted, Let not all these toils be wasted.
Tom kept his ears open when idlers sauntered out of the court- room, but invariably heard distressing news -- the toils were closing more and more relentlessly around poor Potter.
Externals have a great effect on the young: I thought that a fairer era of life was beginning for me, one that was to have its flowers and pleasures, as well as its thorns and toils.
Thus it was that I took upon myself the toils and cares of our life, and had no partner in them.
The companion of the church dignitary was a man past forty, thin, strong, tall, and muscular; an athletic figure, which long fatigue and constant exercise seemed to have left none of the softer part of the human form, having reduced the whole to brawn, bones, and sinews, which had sustained a thousand toils, and were ready to dare a thousand more.
If the veil of melancholy over those adorable features had not still appeared to the young man as the last trace of the weird drama in whose toils that mysterious child was struggling, he could have believed that Christine was not its heroine at all.