elbow-grease

elbow grease

1. Vigorous scrubbing, typically to clean something. You'll never get that rust off without some elbow grease.
2. By extension, any strenuous, effortful physical work needed to do or accomplish something. It took some elbow grease, but I finally got this old engine up and running again. I know we're running out of time, but if we all use a bit of elbow grease, I think we'll be able to get the house built before the deadline.
See also: elbow, grease
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

elbow-grease

n. effort. All this job needs is a little more elbow-grease.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Harvard is a company based on the old principle that in order to do a good job, one needs to put in a little elbow-grease," said DiGiovanni.