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labor

[ley-ber] /ˈleɪ bər/
noun
1.
productive activity, especially for the sake of economic gain.
2.
the body of persons engaged in such activity, especially those working for wages.
3.
this body of persons considered as a class (distinguished from management and capital).
4.
physical or mental work, especially of a hard or fatiguing kind; toil.
5.
a job or task done or to be done.
6.
the physical effort and periodic uterine contractions of childbirth.
7.
the interval from the onset of these contractions to childbirth.
8.
(initial capital letter). Also called Labor Department. Informal. the Department of Labor.
verb (used without object)
9.
to perform labor; exert one's powers of body or mind; work; toil.
10.
to strive, as toward a goal; work hard (often followed by for):
to labor for peace.
11.
to act, behave, or function at a disadvantage (usually followed by under):
to labor under a misapprehension.
12.
to be in the actual process of giving birth.
13.
to roll or pitch heavily, as a ship.
verb (used with object)
14.
to develop or dwell on in excessive detail:
Don't labor the point.
15.
to burden or tire:
to labor the reader with unnecessary detail.
16.
British Dialect. to work or till (soil or the like).
adjective
17.
of or pertaining to workers, their associations, or working conditions:
labor reforms.
Also, especially British, labour.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English labour < Middle French < Latin labōr- (stem of labor) work
Related forms
laboringly, adverb
laborless, adjective
antilabor, adjective
nonlabor, adjective
outlabor, verb (used with object)
overlabor, verb (used with object)
prelabor, noun, verb (used without object)
prolabor, adjective
unlaboring, adjective
Synonyms
2. working people, working class. 4. exertion. See work. 6. parturition, delivery. 9. drudge. 14. overdo.
Antonyms
1, 4. idleness; leisure. 1, 4, 9. rest.

labor omnia vincit

[lah-bohr ohm-nee-ah wing-kit; English ley-ber om-nee-uh vin-sit] /ˈlɑ boʊr ˈoʊm niˌɑ ˈwɪŋ kɪt; English ˈleɪ bər ˈɒm ni ə ˈvɪn sɪt/
Latin.
1.
work conquers all: motto of Oklahoma.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for labor
  • The rehab process takes years and is extremely labor intensive.
  • Here was promise of unknown fare, the kind that can make the labor of travel worth its undertaking.
  • Because it's labor-intensive, the process is also expensive.
  • History has proven that all sports labor conflicts are ultimately solved.
  • Students fighting against the use of sweatshop labor to manufacture apparel and other college-licensed products have a new target.
  • Oil money and government or government-controlled jobs, augmented by lower labor costs.
  • As a result, decentralized composting has lower startup costs, but is more labor intensive.
  • The division of labor by the two cerebral hemispheres-once thought to be uniquely human-predates us by half a billion years.
  • Cheryl's grandson proudly shows off the fruits of labor at his grandparents' house.
  • The plan is for the bots to to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency.
British Dictionary definitions for labor

labor

/ˈleɪbə/
verb, noun
1.
the US spelling of labour

labour

/ˈleɪbə/
noun
1.
productive work, esp physical toil done for wages
2.
  1. the people, class, or workers involved in this, esp in contrast to management, capital, etc
  2. (as modifier): a labour dispute, labour relations
3.
  1. difficult or arduous work or effort
  2. (in combination): labour-saving
4.
a particular job or task, esp of a difficult nature
5.
  1. the process or effort of childbirth or the time during which this takes place
  2. (as modifier): labour pains
6.
labour of love, something done for pleasure rather than gain
verb
7.
(intransitive) to perform labour; work
8.
(intransitive; foll by for, etc) to strive or work hard (for something)
9.
(intransitive) usually foll by under. to be burdened (by) or be at a disadvantage (because of): to labour under a misapprehension
10.
(intransitive) to make one's way with difficulty
11.
(transitive) to deal with or treat too persistently: to labour a point
12.
(intransitive) (of a woman) to be in labour
13.
(intransitive) (of a ship) to pitch and toss
Derived Forms
labouringly, (US) laboringly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin labor; perhaps related to lābī to fall
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 labor
n.

c.1300, "a task, a project;" later "exertion of the body; trouble, difficulty, hardship" (late 14c.), from Old French labor "labor, toil, work, exertion, task" (12c., Modern French labeur), from Latin laborem (nominative labor) "labor, toil, exertion; hardship, pain, fatigue; a work, a product of labor," of uncertain origin, perhaps originally from the notion of "tottering under a burden," and related to labere "to totter."

Meaning "body of laborers considered as a class" (usually contrasted to capitalists) is from 1839. Sense of "physical exertions of childbirth" is 1590s, earlier labour of birthe (early 15c.), a sense also found in Old French, and cf. French en travail "in (childbirth) suffering" (see travail). Labor Day first marked 1882 in New York City.

v.

late 14c., "perform manual or physical work; work hard; keep busy; take pains, strive, endeavor" (also "copulate"), from Old French laborer "work, toil; struggle, have difficulty," from Latin laborare, from labor (see labor (n.)). The verb in modern French, Spanish, Portuguese means "to plow;" the wider sense being taken by the equivalent of English travail. Sense of "to endure pain, suffer" is early 15c., especially in phrase labor of child. Related: Labored; laboring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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labor in Medicine

labor la·bor (lā'bər)
n.
The physical efforts of expulsion of the fetus and the placenta from the uterus during parturition. v. la·bored, la·bor·ing, la·bors
To undergo the efforts of childbirth.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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labor in Science
labor
  (lā'bər)   
The process by which the birth of a mammal occurs, beginning with contractions of the uterus and ending with the expulsion of the fetus and the placenta.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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labor in Culture

labor definition


The physical processes at the end of a normal pregnancy, including opening of the cervix and contractions of the uterus, that lead to the birth of the baby.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for labor

labor

Related Terms

grunt work


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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