travail

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Old French travail (suffering, torment), from Vulgar Latin tripalium (an instrument of torture), from Latin tripālis (having or propped up by three stakes).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

travail (plural travails or travaux)

  1. (archaic) Arduous or painful exertion; excessive labor, suffering, hardship. [from 13th c.]
    • 1597, Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, Book V, §21:
      But as every thing of price, so this doth require travail.
    • 1603, John Florio, transl.; Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, printed at London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821:
      , II.20:
      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.
  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)

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]

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.The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor.
  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.

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French travail, from the singular form from Old French travail, from Vulgar Latin tripalium (torture instrument), from Latin tripālis (having three stakes). Compare Occitan trabalh, Catalan treball, 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]

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 tripalium (torture instrument), from Latin tripālis (having 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]