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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
la•bor /ˈleɪbɚ/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. activity to produce something[uncountable]Much labor went into making that book.
  2. the body of persons doing such activity, esp. those working for wages [uncountable]a meeting between labor and management to avoid a strike.
  3. physical or mental work, esp. of a hard or tiring kind; toil[uncountable]manual labor, like digging ditches.
  4. 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.

  1. to perform labor; work;
    toil[no object]laboring in the fields.
  2. to try to achieve something, as a goal;
    work hard for[+ for]The negotiators labored for peace tirelessly.
  3. to move slowly and with effort[no object]The truck labored up the hill.
  4. to continue to believe something that is not true or likely[+ under + object]to labor under a misapprehension.
  5. [+ object] to dwell on at length or in detail:Don't labor the point.Compare belabor.

adj. [usually before a noun]
  1. of or relating to workers, their associations, or working conditions:labor reforms; labor unions.
Also,[esp. Brit.,]ˈla•bour. See -lab-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
la•bor  (lābər), 
  1. productive activity, esp. for the sake of economic gain.
  2. the body of persons engaged in such activity, esp. those working for wages.
  3. this body of persons considered as a class (distinguished from management and capital).
  4. physical or mental work, esp. of a hard or fatiguing kind;
  5. a job or task done or to be done.
  6. Medicinethe physical effort and periodic uterine contractions of childbirth.
  7. Medicinethe interval from the onset of these contractions to childbirth.
  8. Government(cap.) Also called Labor Department. [Informal.]the Department of Labor.

  1. to perform labor;
    exert one's powers of body or mind;
  2. to strive, as toward a goal;
    work hard (often fol. by for):to labor for peace.
  3. to act, behave, or function at a disadvantage (usually fol. by under):to labor under a misapprehension.
  4. Medicineto be in the actual process of giving birth.
  5. Nautical, Naval Termsto roll or pitch heavily, as a ship.

  1. to develop or dwell on in excessive detail:Don't labor the point.
  2. to burden or tire:to labor the reader with unnecessary detail.
  3. British Terms[Brit. Dial.]to work or till (soil or the like).

  1. of or pertaining to workers, their associations, or working conditions:labor reforms.
Also,[esp. Brit.,]labour. 
  • Latin labōr- (stem of labor) work
  • Middle French
  • Middle English labour 1250–1300
labor•ing•ly, adv. 
labor•less, adj. 
2 . working people, working class. 4 . exertion. See work.  6 . parturition, delivery. 9 . drudge. 14 . overdo. 1, 4 . idleness;
leisure. 1, 4, 9 . rest.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
la•bour  (lābər), 
n., v.i., v.t., adj. [Chiefly Brit.]
  1. Pronounslabor.
See -or1. 

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

labour, US labor /ˈleɪbə/ n
  1. productive work, esp physical toil done for wages
  2. the people, class, or workers involved in this, esp in contrast to management, capital, etc
  3. (as modifier): a labour dispute, labour relations
  4. difficult or arduous work or effort
  5. (in combination): labour-saving
  6. a particular job or task, esp of a difficult nature
  7. the process or effort of childbirth or the time during which this takes place
  8. (as modifier): labour pains
  1. (intransitive) to perform labour; work
  2. (intr; followed by for, etc) to strive or work hard (for something)
  3. (intransitive) usually followed by under: to be burdened (by) or be at a disadvantage (because of): to labour under a misapprehension
  4. (intransitive) to make one's way with difficulty
  5. (transitive) to deal with or treat too persistently: to labour a point
  6. (intransitive) (of a woman) to be in labour
  7. (intransitive) (of a ship) to pitch and toss
Etymology: 13th Century: via Old French from Latin labor; perhaps related to lābī to fall


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