toll(redirected from tolls)
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ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for (someone or something)
Someone or something, especially a business, enterprise, organization, etc., is facing impending or imminent ruin or failure. It comes from a paraphrase of a quote from the poet John Donne, which in full reads, "And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee." As the Internet and digital media continue to grow in size and dominance, ask not for whom the bell tolls—it tolls for print-based businesses around the world. More and more evidence has been unearthed regarding the senator's involvement in the embezzlement scandal. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for him.
The number of deaths that have occurred after some major deadly event, such as an accident, act of violence, or natural disaster. The death toll of the conflict between the two countries is well over 2,000 people as of this morning.
take a toll (on someone or something)
To cause damage or deleterious effects gradually or through constant action or use. The inclement weather in these parts really takes a toll on the exteriors of the buildings. She just doesn't have her usual quickness. It seems like the long season has taken a toll. Years of smoking and drinking has taken a toll on her health.
take a/its toll
To have a cumulative negative effect on someone or something. Based on all this water damage, it seems that leak really took a toll on our ceiling tiles. All those late nights working on my term paper really took a toll on me—I need about 24 hours' sleep to recover.
the bell tolls for (someone or something)
The end, failure, or ruin of someone or something is imminent. An allusion to the sound of a bell ringing from a church to indicate that someone has died. With the passing of this historic legislation, the bell tolls for these massive corporations who abuse the tax system to their own advantage. As the Internet and digital media continue to grow in size and dominance, the bell has begun to toll for print-based businesses around the world. It think it is now clear that the bell tolls for the senators who have been caught up in the embezzlement scandal.
toll for (someone or something)
1. Of a church bell, to ring out in commemoration of someone or something. The bells of churches across the nation are tolling for the anniversary of the country's liberation from the empire. During the war, there wasn't a day that went by without the bells tolling for some poor soul who had been killed.
2. To signal the imminent end, failure, or ruin of someone or something. With the passing of this historic legislation, the bell tolls for these massive corporations who abuse the tax system to their own advantage. As the Internet and digital media continue to grow in size and dominance, the bell has begun to toll for print-based businesses around the world. It think it is now clear that the bell tolls for the senators who have been caught up in the embezzlement scandal.
See also: toll
toll the death knell
To cause or signal the impending end or ruin of something, especially a business, organization, or activity. Refers to the sound of a bell ringing (the knell) from a church to indicate that someone has died. The geometric expansion of the Internet and digital media has tolled the death knell for countless print-based businesses around the world.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
toll for someone
[for a bell] to ring for someone. Who are the bells tolling for? The bells are tolling for Mr. Green, who died last night.
See also: toll
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
take its toll
Be damaging or harmful, cause loss or destruction, as in The civil war has taken its toll on both sides, or The heavy truck traffic has taken its toll on the highways. This expression transfers the taking of toll, a tribute or tax, to exacting other costs. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
take its toll
If a problem or a difficult situation takes its toll, it causes unpleasant effects. The bad weather was soon taking its toll on most of the crew members. The separation from Harry was beginning to take its toll.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
take its ˈtoll (on somebody/something)(also take a (heavy) ˈtoll (of something)) have a bad effect on somebody/something; cause a lot of damage, deaths, suffering, etc: The present economic crisis is taking a heavy toll. Thousands of firms have gone bankrupt. ♢ His job is taking its toll on him. He needs a rest.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017