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one's nose to the grindstone definitions

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Grindstone Grind"stone`, n. A flat, circular stone, revolving on an axle, for grinding or sharpening tools, or shaping or smoothing objects. To hold, pat, or bring one's nose to the grindstone, to oppress one; to keep one in a condition of servitude. They might be ashamed, for lack of courage, to suffer the Laced[ae]monians to hold their noses to the grindstone. --Sir T. North.

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