Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To toil; slave.
  • intransitive v. To churn about continuously.
  • n. Toil; drudgery.
  • n. Confusion; turmoil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An unwanted rim of glass left after blow molding.
  • v. To toil, to work hard.
  • v. To churn continually.
  • n. Hard work.
  • n. Confusion, turmoil.
  • n. A spot; a defilement.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To daub; to make dirty; to soil; to defile.
  • intransitive v. To soil one's self with severe labor; to work with painful effort; to labor; to toil; to drudge.
  • n. A spot; a defilement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To wet; moisten.
  • To soil; dirty; daub.
  • To fatigue by labor; weary.
  • To soil one's self; wallow in dirt.
  • To drudge; labor; toil.
  • n. Defilement.
  • n. Labor; drudgery.
  • n. A mule.
  • n. A kind of high shoe.
  • n. In glass-making, the metallic oxid adhering to the glass which is broken from the end of the blowpipe.
  • n. A tool occasionally used by miners in certain districts instead of a pick when accurate cutting is to be done.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. moisten or soil
  • v. be agitated
  • v. work hard

Etymologies

Middle English mollen, to soften by wetting, from Old French moillier, from Vulgar Latin *molliāre, from Latin mollia (pānis), the soft part (of bread), from neuter pl. of mollis, soft; see mel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Hebrew 'mohel', מוהל (ritual circumciser), referring to the foreskin-like shape of the unwanted rim. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English mollen ("to soften by wetting"), from Old French moillier with the same meaning, from Latin molla panis ("soft part of bread"), from mollis ("soft"); from the Proto-Indo-European root 'mel-', 'soft'. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Un Lun Dun is set, for the most part, in an alternate London, a place where all the "moil" of the real London goes, the moil being everything that's broken, discarded, or obsolete.

    Archive 2007-06-17

  • But 's tued an 'moil'd' issén deäd, an '' e died a good un, 'e did.

    The Book of Humorous Verse

  • IT IS a sad world wherein the millions of the stupid lowly are compelled to toil and moil at the making of all manner of commodities that can be and are on occasion destroyed in an instant by the hot breath of war.

    Mexico's Army and Ours

  • "When he had the news from the village, he had the gates closed at once, and forbade anyone from the Castle to go down, for fear of being caught up in the moil."

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • And it pleases him to have me willing, not skulking and sulking like a a…moodiwart, a moil, mole.

    Wildfire

  • In the ceaseless toil and moil of this process, however, the administration will be without any means of testing their bearings.

    Lew Rockwell: Soviet-Style Rule in Iraq

  • In ceaseless toil and moil, the military will be without any means of testing its bearings.

    Lew Rockwell: Soviet-Style Rule in Iraq

  • The classic ballad of the Klondike gold rush can still thrill children (and their parents) with lines like: “There are strange things done in the midnight sun/By the men who moil for gold …”

    Books in a Sentence « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • I answered, “I am a gentleman53 and a merchant, who hath been wrecked and saved myself on one of the planks of the ship, with some of my goods; and by the blessing of the Almighty and the decrees of Destiny and my own strength and skill, after much toil and moil I have landed with my gear in this place where I awaited some passing ship to take me off.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Almighty to foreswear travel; and if I perish I shall be at peace and shall rest from toil and moil.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

Comments

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  • "A tool occasionally used by miners in certain districts instead of a pick when accurate cutting is to be done. The moil (also called a set) is usually made of drill-steel, about two and a half feet long, and pointed at the end like a gad. The gad, however, is short, and intended to be struck with the hammer; the moil is held and worked in the hand, like a short crowbar."

    --Cent. Dict.

    September 6, 2012

  • Often used, poetically, in the phrase "toil and moil".

    July 31, 2008

  • I live near Moil, a suburb named after an Aboriginal tribe.

    July 29, 2008

  • Most of the words on that glassmaking list inspire that reaction, bilby. :-)

    July 29, 2008

  • I'm glad reesetee's citation was about glassmaking.

    July 23, 2008

  • In glassmaking, the moil is the unwanted top of a blown object. At the last stage in the forming process when the object is removed from the blowpipe, the glassmaker is left with a narrow opening that he/she does not want. After annealing the object, the glassmaker removes the top, usually by cracking off. The moil from a mold-blown object is often known as an overblow.

    November 9, 2007

  • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moil says that moil was their word of the day on that most infamous day. When you read the meaning of this word it speaks for itself.

    February 1, 2007