see also: Labour
  • (British) IPA: /ˈleɪ.bə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈleɪ.bɚ/

labour (British spelling, Canadian spelling, Australian spelling, New Zealand spelling)

  1. Effort expended on a particular task; toil, work.
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
      […] so I set myself to enlarge my cave, and work farther into the earth; for it was a loose sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labour I bestowed on it […]
  2. That which requires hard work for its accomplishment; that which demands effort.
    • Being a labour of so great a difficulty, the exact performance thereof we may rather wish than look for.
  3. (uncountable) Workers in general; the working class, the workforce; sometimes specifically the labour movement, organised labour.
  4. (uncountable) A political party or force aiming or claiming to represent the interests of labour.
  5. The act of a mother giving birth.
  6. The time period during which a mother gives birth.
  7. (nautical) The pitching or tossing of a vessel which results in the straining of timbers and rigging.
  8. An old measure of land area in Mexico and Texas, approximately 177 acres.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Verb

labour (labours, present participle labouring; past and past participle laboured) (British spelling, Canadian spelling, Australian spelling, New Zealand spelling)

  1. (intransitive) To toil, to work.
  2. (transitive) To belabour, to emphasise or expand upon (a point in a debate, etc).
    I think we've all got the idea. There's no need to labour the point.
  3. To be oppressed with difficulties or disease; to do one's work under conditions which make it especially hard or wearisome; to move slowly, as against opposition, or under a burden.
    • the stone that labours up the hill
    • 1709, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Criticism, London: Printed for W. Lewis […], published 1711, OCLC 15810849 ↗:
      The line too labours, and the words move slow.
    • 1821 January 7, [Walter Scott], Kenilworth; a Romance. [...] In Three Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co.; and John Ballantyne, Edinburgh; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., OCLC 277979407 ↗:
  4. To suffer the pangs of childbirth.
  5. (nautical) To pitch or roll heavily, as a ship in a turbulent sea.
Related terms Translations
Proper noun
  1. (UK) Short for the Labour Party UK political party
  2. (Canada, UK) Misspelling of Labor Australian political party
Related terms

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