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

  • n. A fixed charge or tax for a privilege, especially for passage across a bridge or along a road.
  • n. A charge for a service, such as a long-distance telephone call.
  • n. An amount or extent of loss or destruction, as of life, health, or property: "Poverty and inadequate health care take their toll on the quality of a community's health” ( Los Angeles Times).
  • transitive v. To exact as a toll.
  • transitive v. To charge a fee for using (a structure, such as a bridge).
  • transitive v. To sound (a large bell) slowly at regular intervals.
  • transitive v. To announce or summon by tolling.
  • intransitive v. To sound in slowly repeated single tones.
  • n. The act of tolling.
  • n. The sound of a bell being struck.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Loss or damage incurred through a disaster.
  • n. A fee for using a transportation facility such a road, bridge, or ferry.
  • n. A fee for using any kind of material processing service.
  • n. A tollbooth.
  • v. To impose a fee for the use of.
  • v. To levy a toll on (someone or something).
  • v. To take as a toll.
  • n. The act or sound of tolling
  • v. To ring (a bell) slowly and repeatedly.
  • v. To summon by ringing a bell.
  • v. To announce by tolling.
  • v. To draw; pull; tug; drag.
  • v. To tear in pieces.
  • v. To draw; entice; invite; allure.
  • v. To lure with bait (especially, fish and animals).
  • v. To take away; to vacate; to annul.
  • v. To suspend.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The sound of a bell produced by strokes slowly and uniformly repeated.
  • n. A tax paid for some liberty or privilege, particularly for the privilege of passing over a bridge or on a highway, or for that of vending goods in a fair, market, or the like.
  • n. A liberty to buy and sell within the bounds of a manor.
  • n. A portion of grain taken by a miller as a compensation for grinding.
  • intransitive v. To sound or ring, as a bell, with strokes uniformly repeated at intervals, as at funerals, or in calling assemblies, or to announce the death of a person.
  • intransitive v. To pay toll or tallage.
  • intransitive v. To take toll; to raise a tax.
  • transitive v. To take away; to vacate; to annul.
  • transitive v. To draw; to entice; to allure. See tole.
  • transitive v. To cause to sound, as a bell, with strokes slowly and uniformly repeated.
  • transitive v. To strike, or to indicate by striking, as the hour; to ring a toll for.
  • transitive v. To call, summon, or notify, by tolling or ringing.
  • transitive v. To collect, as a toll.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pay toll or tailage, as on a purchase.
  • To take toll; exact or levy toll; especially, to take a portion of grain as compensation for grinding.
  • To take as a part of a general contribution or tax; exact as a tribute.
  • To draw; pull; tug; drag.
  • To tear in pieces.
  • To draw; invite; entice; allure.
  • To cause (a bell) to sound with single strokes slowly and regularly repeated, as for summoning public bodies or religious congregations to their meetings, for announcing a death, or to give solemnity to a funeral; specifically, to ring (a bell) by striking it with a hammer without swinging.
  • To give out or utter by tolling or striking, as the sound of a bell or a clock.
  • To call attention to or give notice of by slowly measured sounds of a bell; ring for or on account of.
  • To give out the slowly measured sounds of a bell when struck singly and at regular intervals, as in calling meetings, or at funerals, or to announce the death of a person.
  • In law, to take away; vacate; annul.
  • n. A tax paid, or duty imposed, for some use or privilege or other reasonable consideration.
  • n. The payment claimed by the owners of a port for goods landed or shipped there.
  • n. The sum charged by the owners of a market or fair for goods brought to be sold there, or for liberty to break the soil for the purpose of erecting temporary structures.
  • n. A portion of grain retained by a miller as compensation for grinding.
  • n. A fixed charge made by those concerned in the maintenance of roads, streets, bridges, etc., for the passage, as at a toll-gate, of persons, goods, and cattle.
  • n. A compensation for services rendered, especially for transportation or transmission: as, canal tolls, railway tolls, and other charges have raised the price of wheat.
  • n. Synonyms Duty, Tribute, etc. See tax.
  • n. The sounding of a bell with slowly measured single strokes.

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

  • n. value measured by what must be given or done or undergone to obtain something
  • n. a fee levied for the use of roads or bridges (used for maintenance)
  • n. the sound of a bell being struck
  • v. charge a fee for using
  • v. ring slowly


Middle English, from Old English, variant of toln, from Medieval Latin tolōnīum, from Latin telōnēum, tollbooth, from Greek telōneion, from telōnēs, tax collector, from telos, tax; see telə- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English tollen, to ring an alarm, perhaps from tollen, to entice, pull, variant of tillen, from Old English -tyllan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English tol, tolle, from Old English tol, toll, toln ("toll, duty, custom"), from Proto-Germanic *tullō (“what is counted or told”), from Proto-Indo-European *dol- (“calculation, fraud”). Cognate with Dutch tol ("toll"), German Zoll ("toll, duty, customs"), Danish told ("toll, duty, tariff"), Swedish tull ("toll, customs"), Icelandic tollur ("toll"), Latin dolus ("trick, deception"). More at tell, tale. (Wiktionary)
Probably the same as Etymology 3. Possibly related to or influenced by toil (Wiktionary)
From Middle English tolen, tollen, variation of tullen, tillen ("to draw, allure, entice"), from Old English *tyllan, *tillan ("to pull, draw, attract") (found in compounds fortyllan ("to seduce, lead astray, draw away from the mark, deceive") and betyllan, betillan ("to lure, decoy")), related to Old Frisian tilla ("to lift, raise"), Dutch tillen ("to lift, raise, weigh, buy"), Low German tillen ("to lift, remove"), Swedish dialectal tille ("to take up, appropriate"). (Wiktionary)
From Latin tollere (Wiktionary)


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