Why was clemency trending last week?


[bih-ley-ber] /bɪˈleɪ bər/
verb (used with object)
to explain, worry about, or work at (something) repeatedly or more than is necessary:
He kept belaboring the point long after we had agreed.
to assail persistently, as with scorn or ridicule:
a book that belabors the provincialism of his contemporaries.
to beat vigorously; ply with heavy blows.
Obsolete. to labor at.
Also, especially British, belabour.
Origin of belabor
1590-1600; be- + labor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for belabor
  • It's important to shine a light on lobbying, more than to belabor this inevitable calling.
  • There is no need to belabor the wobbly nature of this third term.
  • However, if it is impossible to praise these stories, it would be surly to belabor them.
  • Well constructed as these stories are, some may seem to belabor their themes with built-in explanations.
  • None felt it necessary to belabor the fact of race, though all alluded to it.
  • Perpetual flashbacks initiating from a sketchily attended present stall and belabor the novel's first few chapters.
  • Not to belabor the point, but my stepson also still has platelets that do a decent job of knitting surface wounds without factor.
  • Not to belabor the point, but it hardly matters what you think.
  • Well constructed as these stories are, some may seem to belabor their themes.
  • Ford agreed that this approach is fine, but he prefers to not belabor an exemption.
British Dictionary definitions for belabor


verb (transitive)
to beat severely; thrash
to attack verbally; criticize harshly
an obsolete word for labour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for belabor

1590s, "to exert one's strength upon," from be- + labor (v.). But figurative sense of "assail with words" is attested somewhat earlier (1590s); and belabored is attested from mid-15c. with a sense of "tilled, cultivated."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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