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See also: móil



Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English mollen (to soften by wetting), borrowed from Old French moillier with the same meaning, from Vulgar Latin *molliō, *molliare, from mollis (soft).


moil (third-person singular simple present moils, present participle moiling, simple past and past participle moiled)

  1. To toil, to work hard.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, "Of Plantations":
      Moil not too much underground, for the hope of mines is very uncertain, and useth to make the planters lazy in other things..
    • 1693, John Dryden, Juvenal and Persius, "Tenth Satire of Juvenal":
      Now he must moil and drudge for one he loathes.
    • 1849, Charles Kingsley, "Alton Locke's Song":
      Why for sluggards cark and moil?
    • 1907, Robert W. Service, “The Cremation of Sam McGee”, in The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses:
      There are strange things done in the midnight sun
            By the men who moil for gold;
      The Arctic trails have their secret tales
            That would make your blood run cold;
      The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
            But the queerest they ever did see
      Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
            I cremated Sam McGee.
  2. (intransitive) To churn continually; to swirl.
    • 1952, Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man, Chapter 23:
      A crowd of men and women moiled like nightmare figures in the smoke-green haze.
  3. (Britain, transitive) To defile or dirty.


moil (countable and uncountable, plural moils)

  1. Hard work.
    • 1928, Harry Lauder, Roamin' in the Gloamin', Chapter VII:
      I finally decided, my heart was really in my singing rather than in the drab, hardy soul- searing toil and moil of a collier's existence.
  2. Confusion, turmoil.
    • 1948, Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead, Part I, Chapter 5:
      Croft no longer saw anything clearly; he could not have said at that moment where his hands ended and the machine gun began; he was lost in a vast moil of noise out of which individual screams and shouts etched in his mind for an instant.
  3. A spot; a defilement.
    • 1856, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh:
      You'd suppose
      A finished generation, dead of plague,
      Swept outward from their graves into the sun,
      The moil of death upon them.


Etymology 2[edit]

From Hebrew 'mohel', מוהל (ritual circumciser), referring to the foreskin-like shape of the unwanted rim.


moil (plural moils)

  1. (glassblowing) The glass circling the tip of a blowpipe or punty, such as the residual glass after detaching a blown vessel, or the lower part of a gather.
  2. (glassblowing, blow molding) The excess material which adheres to the top, base, or rim of a glass object when it is cut or knocked off from a blowpipe or punty, or from the mold-filling process. Typically removed after annealing as part of the finishing process (e.g. scored and snapped off).
  3. (glassblowing) The metallic oxide from a blowpipe which has adhered to a glass object.

See also[edit]




From Proto-Tai *ʰmwɯjᴬ (bear). Cognate with Thai หมี (mǐi), Northern Thai ᩉ᩠ᨾᩦ, Lao ໝີ (), ᦖᦲ (ṁii), Tai Dam ꪢꪲ, Shan မီ (mǐi), Ahom 𑜉𑜣 (mii), Zhuang mui. Compare Old Chinese (OC *meʔ).



  1. bear (animal)


Scottish Gaelic[edit]


moil m

  1. Genitive of mol.