A toll is a payment made for something. To drive on some highways, drivers have to pay a toll when they exit.

Toll comes from the Greek word for "tax," telos. When a fee is charged for the privilege of driving on a road or crossing a bridge, it's called a toll. Another kind of toll is the charge to make a long distance telephone call. Occasionally, toll refers to a different kind of cost — a loss of human life: the human toll of an earthquake or war. Finally, there's the toll, or deep ringing sound, of a bell.

Primary Meanings of toll

a fee levied for the use of roads or bridges (used for maintenance)
charge a fee for using
ring slowly
the sound of a bell being struck
Full Definitions of toll

n a fee levied for the use of roads or bridges (used for maintenance)

Type of:
a fixed charge for a privilege or for professional services

n value measured by what must be given or done or undergone to obtain something

cost, price
death toll
the number of deaths resulting from some particular cause such as an accident or a battle or a natural disaster
Type of:
the quality (positive or negative) that renders something desirable or valuable

v charge a fee for using

Toll the bridges into New York City”
Type of:
impose, levy
impose and collect

v ring slowly

“For whom the bell tolls
Type of:
knell, ring
make (bells) ring, often for the purposes of musical edification

n the sound of a bell being struck

the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death or a funeral or the end of something
angelus, angelus bell
the sound of a bell rung in Roman Catholic churches to announce the time when the Angelus should be recited
Type of:
the sudden occurrence of an audible event

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.