by the sweat of one's brow

by the sweat of (one's) brow

Through or because of one's own efforts or hard work. By the sweat of his brow, my father turned a barren little plot of land into the flourishing farm you see today. This pair of entrepreneurs has created a billion-dollar company by the sweat of their brow.
See also: brow, by, of, sweat

by the sweat of one's brow

By hard work, as in The only way he'll succeed is by the sweat of his brow. This figurative usage appears in the Bible (Genesis 31:9), where Adam's punishment for eating fruit in Eden is "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread"-that is, he will have to work for his bread, or living. [c. 1600]
See also: brow, by, of, sweat
References in periodicals archive ?
However that is not always the case and after the first few early days of fishing or hunting, the fish or fowl wise up to the hunter's methods and it is by the sweat of one's brow that one wins.
When the rivers are running low, fishing is a hard taskmaster and it is by the sweat of one's brow that one takes a brace.