- 1 English
- 2 Breton
- 3 French
- 4 Old French
From Middle English labouren, from Old French laborer, from Latin laborare (“(intransitive) to labor, strive, exert oneself, suffer, be in distress, (transitive) to work out, elaborate”), from labor (“labor, toil, work, exertion”); perhaps remotely akin to robur (“strength”).
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈleɪ.bə/
Audio (UK) (file)
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈleɪ.bɚ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -eɪbə(ɹ)
- Effort expended on a particular task; toil, work.
- That which requires hard work for its accomplishment; that which demands effort.
- (uncountable) Workers in general; the working class, the workforce; sometimes specifically the labour movement, organised labour.
- (uncountable) A political party or force aiming or claiming to represent the interests of labour.
- The act of a mother giving birth.
- The time period during which a mother gives birth.
- (nautical) The pitching or tossing of a vessel which results in the straining of timbers and rigging.
- An old measure of land area in Mexico and Texas, approximately 177 acres.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Bartlett to this entry?)
Like many other words ending in -our/-or, this word is spelled labour in the UK and labor in the U.S.; in Canada, labour is preferred, but labor is not unknown. In Australia, labour is the standard spelling, but the Australian Labour Party, founded 1908, "modernised" its spelling to Australian Labor Party in 1912, at the suggestion of American-born King O'Malley, who was a prominent leader in the ALP.
- Adjectives often used with "labour": physical, mental, technical, organised.
- (intransitive) To toil, to work.
- (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.
- 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.
- To suffer the pangs of childbirth.
- (nautical) To pitch or roll heavily, as a ship in a turbulent sea.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Totten to this entry?)
- labour in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- labour in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- labour at OneLook Dictionary Search
- "labour" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 176.
labour m (plural labours)
- “labour” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
- (late Anglo-Norman) Alternative spelling of