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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. (UK, 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]

Of unclear origin; possibly from French meule or Hebrew מוהל(mohel, 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 (), Zhuang mui, Nong Zhuang mue. Compare Old Chinese (OC *meʔ).




  1. bear (animal)


Scottish Gaelic[edit]


moil m

  1. genitive of mol