belabour

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From be- (about, around) +‎ labour. Compare bework.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

belabour (third-person singular simple present belabours, present participle belabouring, simple past and past participle belaboured)

  1. (transitive) To labour about; labour over; work hard upon; ply diligently.
  2. (UK, transitive) To beat soundly; thump; beat someone.
    • 1856: Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Part III Chapter X, translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling
      He saw the village; he was seen coming bending forward upon his horse, belabouring it with great blows, the girths dripping with blood.
  3. (UK, transitive) To attack someone verbally.
  4. (UK, transitive) To discuss something repeatedly; to harp on.
    Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us. - Inaugural speech 1961, John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Translations[edit]