travail

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: trə-vālʹ, trăvʹāl', IPA(key): /tɹəˈveɪl/, /ˈtɹævˌeɪl/
  • Rhymes: -eɪl

Etymology 1[edit]

Possible appearance of a Tripalium

From Middle English travail, from Old French travail (suffering, torment), from Vulgar Latin *tripaliō (to torture; suffer, toil) from Late Latin trepālium (an instrument of torture) from Latin tripālis (held up by three stakes) from Proto-Italic *trēs + *pākslos from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂ǵ-.

Noun[edit]

travail (plural travails or travaux)

  1. (literary) Arduous or painful exertion; excessive labor, suffering, hardship. [from 13th c.]
    • 1582 – 1610, Douay Rheims Bible, Book of Ecclesiasticus (Wisdom of Sirach) XL.1–11:
      Great trauail is created to al men, and an heauie yoke vpon the children of Adam, from the day of their comming forth of their mothers wombe, vntil the day of their burying, into the mother of al. Their cogitations, and feares of the hart, imagination of things to come, and the day of their ending: from him that ſitteth vpon the glorious ſeate, vnto him that is humbled in earth & aſhes. From him that weareth hyacinth, and beareth the crowne, euen to him that is couered with rude linen: furie, enuie, tumult, wauering, and the feare of death, anger perſeuering, and contention, and in time of repoſe in bed, the ſleepe of night changeth his knowledge. A litle is as nothing in reſt, and afterward in ſleepe, as in the day of watch. He is troubled in the viſion of his hart, as he that hath eſcaped in the day of battel. In the time of his ſafetie he roſe vp, and merueleth at no feare: with al fleſh, from man euen to beaſt, and vpon ſinners ſeuenfold. Beſides theſe things, death, bloud, contention, and ſword, oppreſſions, famine, and contrition, and ſcourges: for the wicked al theſe were created, and for them the floud was made. Al things that are of the earth, ſhal turne into the earth, and al waters ſhal returne into the ſea.
    • 1597, Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, Book V, §21:
      But as every thing of price, so this doth require travail.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 20, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book II, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821:
      Travell and pleasure, most unlike in nature, are notwithstanding followed together by a kind of I wot not what natural conjunction [].
    • 1936, Djuna Barnes, Nightwood, Faber & Faber 2007, p. 38:
      He had thought of making a destiny for himself, through laborious and untiring travail.
    • 2005, Tony Judt, “Culture Wars”, in Postwar: A history of Europe since 1945, London: Vintage Books, published 2010, →ISBN:
      And the British mandarin Left, like their contemporaries in the Foreign Office, had little time for the travails of the small countries between Germany and Russia, whom they had always regarded as something of a nuisance.
  2. Specifically, the labor of childbirth. [from 13th c.]
    • 1607–08, William Shakespeare (?), Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Act III, Chorus:
      The lady shrieks and, well-a-near,
      Does fall in travail with her fear.
    • 1611, King James Version, Genesis 38:27–28:
      And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb. And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first,
  3. (obsolete, countable) An act of working; labor (US), labour (British). [14th-18th c.]
  4. (obsolete) The eclipse of a celestial object. [17th c.]
  5. Obsolete form of travel.
  6. Alternative form of travois (a kind of sled)
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
References[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English travailen, from Old French travaillier, from the noun (see above).

Verb[edit]

travail (third-person singular simple present travails, present participle travailing, simple past and past participle travailed)

  1. To toil.
    • 1552, Hugh Latimer, "Fourth Sermon on the Lord's Prayer, Preached before Lady Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk":
      [A]ll slothful persons, which will not travail for their livings, do the will of the devil.
    • 1611, King James Version, Job 15:20:
      The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor.
    • 1714, J[ohn] Gay, “The Proeme to the Courteous Reader”, in The Shepherd’s Week. In Six Pastorals, London: [] R. Burleigh [], OCLC 22942401:
      Other poet travailing in this plain high-way of paſtoral know I none.
  2. To go through the labor of childbirth.
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, John XIV:
      A woman when she traveyleth hath sorowe, be cause her houre is come: but as sone as she is delivered off her chylde she remembreth no moare her anguysshe, for ioye that a man is borne in to the worlde.
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French travail, from the singular form from Old French travail from Vulgar Latin *tripaliō (to torture; suffer, toil) from Late Latin trepālium (an instrument of torture) from Latin tripālis (held up by three stakes). Compare Occitan trabalh, Catalan treball, English travail, Italian travaglio, Portuguese trabalho, Spanish trabajo.

The plural from Old French travauz, from travailz with l-vocalization before a consonant. The final -auz was later spelled -aux, and the sequence -au-, which once represented a diphthong, now represents an o sound.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

travail m (plural travaux)

  1. work; labor
  2. job
  3. workplace

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Middle French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French travail.

Noun[edit]

travail m (plural travails)

  1. suffering; pain

Descendants[edit]

  • French: travail

References[edit]

  • Godefroy, Frédéric, Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue française et de tous ses dialectes du IXe au XVe siècle (1881) (travail, supplement)

Old French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Vulgar Latin *tripaliō (to torture; suffer, toil) from Late Latin trepālium (an instrument of torture) from Latin tripālis (held up by three stakes). Compare Occitan trabalh, Catalan treball, Italian travaglio, Portuguese trabalho, Spanish trabajo.

Noun[edit]

travail m (oblique plural travauz or travailz, nominative singular travauz or travailz, nominative plural travail)

  1. suffering, torment

Descendants[edit]