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Alternative forms[edit]


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



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. (British spelling, 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. (British spelling, transitive) To attack someone verbally.
  4. (British spelling, transitive) To discuss something unduly or repeatedly; to harp on.
    • 1961, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, inaugural speech
      Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring those problems which divide us.
  5. (British spelling, transitive) To explain or elaborate at length or in excessive detail; overelaborate.