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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
la•bor /ˈleɪbɚ/USA pronunciation
n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
- activity to produce something[uncountable]Much labor went into making that book.
- the body of persons doing such activity, esp. those working for wages [uncountable]a meeting between labor and management to avoid a strike.
- physical or mental work, esp. of a hard or tiring kind; toil[uncountable]manual labor, like digging ditches.
- a job or task done or to be done[countable]the labors of Hercules.
the last part of pregnancy, beginning with contractions in the uterus, up to the moment of giving birth: [countable]a difficult labor.[uncountable]Labor can take hours.
adj. [usually before a noun]
- to perform labor; work;
toil[no object]laboring in the fields.
- to try to achieve something, as a goal;
work hard for[~ + for]The negotiators labored for peace tirelessly.
- to move slowly and with effort[no object]The truck labored up the hill.
- to continue to believe something that is not true or likely[~ + under + object]to labor under a misapprehension.
- [~ + object] to dwell on at length or in detail:Don't labor the point.Compare belabor.
Also,[esp. Brit.,]ˈla•bour. See -lab-.
- of or relating to workers, their associations, or working conditions:labor reforms; labor unions.
(lā′bər), n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
- productive activity, esp. for the sake of economic gain.
- the body of persons engaged in such activity, esp. those working for wages.
- this body of persons considered as a class (distinguished from management and capital).
- physical or mental work, esp. of a hard or fatiguing kind;
- a job or task done or to be done.
- Medicinethe physical effort and periodic uterine contractions of childbirth.
- Medicinethe interval from the onset of these contractions to childbirth.
- Government(cap.) Also called Labor Department. [Informal.]the Department of Labor.
- to perform labor;
exert one's powers of body or mind;
- to strive, as toward a goal;
work hard (often fol. by for):to labor for peace.
- to act, behave, or function at a disadvantage (usually fol. by under):to labor under a misapprehension.
- Medicineto be in the actual process of giving birth.
- Nautical, Naval Termsto roll or pitch heavily, as a ship.
- to develop or dwell on in excessive detail:Don't labor the point.
- to burden or tire:to labor the reader with unnecessary detail.
- British Terms[Brit. Dial.]to work or till (soil or the like).
- of or pertaining to workers, their associations, or working conditions:labor reforms.
2 . working people, working class. 4 . exertion. See work. 6 . parturition, delivery. 9 . drudge. 14 . overdo.
1, 4 . idleness;
- Latin labōr- (stem of labor) work
- Middle French
- Middle English labour 1250–1300
leisure. 1, 4, 9 . rest.
(lā′bər), n., v.i., v.t., adj. [Chiefly Brit.]
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
labour, US labor /ˈleɪbə/ n
- productive work, esp physical toil done for wages
- the people, class, or workers involved in this, esp in contrast to management, capital, etc
- (as modifier): a labour dispute, labour relations
- difficult or arduous work or effort
- (in combination): labour-saving
- a particular job or task, esp of a difficult nature
- the process or effort of childbirth or the time during which this takes place
- (as modifier): labour pains
Etymology: 13th Century: via Old French from Latin labor; perhaps related to lābī to fall
- (intransitive) to perform labour; work
- (intr; followed by for, etc) to strive or work hard (for something)
- (intransitive) usually followed by under: to be burdened (by) or be at a disadvantage (because of): to labour under a misapprehension
- (intransitive) to make one's way with difficulty
- (transitive) to deal with or treat too persistently: to labour a point
- (intransitive) (of a woman) to be in labour
- (intransitive) (of a ship) to pitch and toss