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labor Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a social class comprising those who do manual labor or work for wages
    working class; labour; proletariat.
    • there is a shortage of skilled labor in this field
  2. noun productive work (especially physical work done for wages)
    toil; labour.
    • his labor did not require a great deal of skill
  3. noun concluding state of pregnancy; from the onset of contractions to the birth of a child
    travail; lying-in; childbed; parturiency; confinement; labour.
    • she was in labor for six hours
  4. noun an organized attempt by workers to improve their status by united action (particularly via labor unions) or the leaders of this movement
    labor movement; trade union movement.
  5. noun a political party formed in Great Britain in 1900; characterized by the promotion of labor's interests and formerly the socialization of key industries
    Labour Party; Labour; British Labour Party.
  6. noun the federal department responsible for promoting the working conditions of wage earners in the United States; created in 1913
    DoL; Department of Labor; Labor Department.
  7. noun any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted
    project; undertaking; task.
    • he prepared for great undertakings
  8. verb strive and make an effort to reach a goal
    push; drive; labour; tug.
    • She tugged for years to make a decent living
    • We have to push a little to make the deadline!
    • She is driving away at her doctoral thesis
  9. verb work hard
    moil; travail; dig; grind; labour; drudge; toil; fag.
    • She was digging away at her math homework
    • Lexicographers drudge all day long
  10. verb undergo the efforts of childbirth
    labour.
WordNet

La"bor noun
Etymology
OE. labour, OF. labour, laber, labur, F. labeur, L. labor; cf. Gr. to take, Skr. labh to get, seize.
Definitions
  1. Physical toil or bodily exertion, especially when fatiguing, irksome, or unavoidable, in distinction from sportive exercise; hard, muscular effort directed to some useful end, as agriculture, manufactures, and like; servile toil; exertion; work.
    God hath set Labor and rest, as day and night, to men Successive. Milton.
  2. Intellectual exertion; mental effort; as, the labor of compiling a history.
  3. That which requires hard work for its accomplishment; that which demands effort.
    Being a labor of so great a difficulty, the exact performance thereof we may rather wish than look for. Hooker.
  4. Travail; the pangs and efforts of childbirth.
    The queen's in labor, They say, in great extremity; and feared She'll with the labor end. Shak.
  5. Any pang or distress. Shak.
  6. (Naut.) The pitching or tossing of a vessel which results in the straining of timbers and rigging.
  7. Sp. A measure of land in Mexico and Texas, equivalent to an area of 177&frac17; acres. Bartlett. Syn. -- Work; toil; drudgery; task; exertion; effort; industry; painstaking. See Toll.
La"bor intransitive verb
Etymology
OE. labouren, F. labourer, L. laborare. See Labor, n.
Wordforms
imperfect & past participle Labored ; present participle & verbal noun Laboring
Definitions
  1. To exert muscular strength; to exert one's strength with painful effort, particularly in servile occupations; to work; to toil.
    Adam, well may we labor still to dress This garden. Milton.
  2. To exert one's powers of mind in the prosecution of any design; to strive; to take pains.
  3. To be oppressed with difficulties or disease; to do one's work under conditions which make it especially hard, wearisome; to move slowly, as against opposition, or under a burden; to be burdened; -- often with under, and formerly with of.
    The stone that labors up the hill. Granville.
    The line too labors,and the words move slow. Pope.
    To cure the disorder under which he labored. Sir W. Scott.
    Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. xi. 28
  4. To be in travail; to suffer the pangs of childbirth.
  5. (Naut.) To pitch or roll heavily, as a ship in a turbulent sea. Totten.
La"bor transitive verb
Etymology
F. labourer, L. laborare.
Definitions
  1. To work at; to work; to till; to cultivate by toil.
    The most excellent lands are lying fallow, or only labored by children. W. Tooke.
  2. To form or fabricate with toil, exertion, or care. "To labor arms for Troy." Dryden.
  3. To prosecute, or perfect, with effort; to urge streuously; as, to labor a point or argument.
  4. To belabor; to beat. Obs. Dryden.

Webster 1913


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