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English definition of “take its/a toll”

take its/a toll

C2 If something takes its/a toll, it causes suffering, deaths, or damage: The problems of the past few months have taken their toll on her health and there are shadows beneath her eyes. The deepening recession has also taken its toll in the south of the country, where unemployment is rife.
(Definition of take its/a toll from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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