take a toll

take (quite) a toll (on someone or something)

to cause damage or wear by using something or by hard living. Years of sunbathing took a toll on Mary's skin. Drug abuse takes quite a toll on the lives of people.
See also: take, toll

take a/its/their toll

to have a bad effect on someone or something (often + on ) Bringing up nine children had taken its toll on my mother. The disease has taken a horrendous toll in parts of western Africa.
See sound the death knell
See also: take, toll
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