Definition of take its toll (or take a heavy toll) in US English:

take its toll (or take a heavy toll)

phrase

  • Have an adverse effect, especially so as to cause damage, suffering, or death.

    ‘years of pumping iron have taken their toll on his body’
    • ‘The stress of everything took its toll and my health began to deteriorate.’
    • ‘The flood disaster in southern Africa continues to take its toll, with more heavy rain hindering the relief operation.’
    • ‘In 2002, he revealed what had long been suspected: that heavy drinking was taking its toll.’
    • ‘Stress took its toll and the weight began to drop off.’
    • ‘As the two ten minute periods of extra time began it was obvious that the heavy ground was taking its toll on both teams.’
    • ‘The stress and strain of modern life are taking a heavy toll on the human mind.’
    • ‘As he gets closer, his burden gets heavier and takes its toll on both his mind and body.’
    • ‘But if the stress of the role is taking its toll, she takes care not to show it.’
    • ‘In the absence of adequate periods of calm, stress can take its toll.’
    • ‘I fear that in the next four years the media and his adversaries will take a heavy toll on him.’