20 Idioms That Describe Hard Work

Hard work is often celebrated through idioms that capture dedication, effort, and perseverance. These phrases paint vivid pictures of what it means to toil diligently and achieve success through persistence. Below are 20 idioms that epitomize the essence of hard work, each with a brief meaning and example sentence.

1. Burn the midnight oil

Meaning: Work late

Example: She burned the midnight oil to finish the report.

2. Break your back

Meaning: Work very hard

Example: He broke his back to complete the project on time.

3. Put your nose to the grindstone

Meaning: Focus on hard work

Example: She put her nose to the grindstone and aced the exams.

4. Go the extra mile

Meaning: Make extra effort

Example: He went the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction.

5. Work your fingers to the bone

Meaning: Work very hard

Example: She worked her fingers to the bone to support her family.

6. Sweat blood

Meaning: Work extremely hard

Example: He sweated blood to get the business off the ground.

7. Pull out all the stops

Meaning: Make maximum effort

Example: They pulled out all the stops to meet the deadline.

8. Grind away

Meaning: Work continuously

Example: He ground away at his studies until he graduated.

9. Keep your shoulder to the wheel

Meaning: Stay diligent

Example: She kept her shoulder to the wheel and succeeded.

10. Put in the hours

Meaning: Spend a lot of time working

Example: He put in the hours to master his craft.

11. Bend over backwards

Meaning: Make a great effort

Example: She bent over backwards to help her team.

12. Go at it hammer and tongs

Meaning: Work with great energy

Example: They went at it hammer and tongs to finish the job.

13. Do the heavy lifting

Meaning: Do the hard work

Example: He did the heavy lifting on the project.

14. Roll up your sleeves

Meaning: Prepare to work hard

Example: She rolled up her sleeves and got to work.

15. Work like a dog

Meaning: Work very hard

Example: He worked like a dog to complete the task.

16. Bust your chops

Meaning: Work very hard

Example: She busted her chops to get the promotion.

17. Put your heart and soul into it

Meaning: Give maximum effort

Example: He put his heart and soul into the project.

18. Go to great lengths

Meaning: Make a big effort

Example: She went to great lengths to achieve her goals.

19. Toil away

Meaning: Work continuously

Example: He toiled away in the lab for hours.

20. Pay your dues

Meaning: Work hard over time

Example: She paid her dues to reach the top.

Idioms That Describe Hard Work

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