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[ley-berd] /ˈleɪ bərd/
done or made with difficulty; heavy:
labored breathing.
exhibiting a great deal of effort; lacking grace, fluency, or spontaneity:
a labored prose style.
1525-35; labor + -ed2
Related forms
laboredly, adverb
laboredness, noun
unlabored, adjective
well-labored, adjective
2. overdone, ornate, unnatural, stiff.
1. simple, easy. 2. plain, natural.
Synonym Study
2. See elaborate.


[ley-ber] /ˈleɪ bər/
productive activity, especially for the sake of economic gain.
the body of persons engaged in such activity, especially those working for wages.
this body of persons considered as a class (distinguished from management and capital).
physical or mental work, especially of a hard or fatiguing kind; toil.
a job or task done or to be done.
the physical effort and periodic uterine contractions of childbirth.
the interval from the onset of these contractions to childbirth.
(initial capital letter). Also called Labor Department. Informal. the Department of Labor.
verb (used without object)
to perform labor; exert one's powers of body or mind; work; toil.
to strive, as toward a goal; work hard (often followed by for):
to labor for peace.
to act, behave, or function at a disadvantage (usually followed by under):
to labor under a misapprehension.
to be in the actual process of giving birth.
to roll or pitch heavily, as a ship.
verb (used with object)
to develop or dwell on in excessive detail:
Don't labor the point.
to burden or tire:
to labor the reader with unnecessary detail.
British Dialect. to work or till (soil or the like).
of or relating to workers, their associations, or working conditions:
labor reforms.
Also, especially British, labour.
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
2. working people, working class. 4. exertion. See work. 6. parturition, delivery. 9. drudge. 14. overdo.
1, 4. idleness; leisure. 1, 4, 9. rest. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for labored
  • And our university-relations office labored to explain the importance of our research to news outlets.
  • The baseball hat was back today but its mount was restored to reasonable health and only mildly labored breathing.
  • For decades researchers have labored to make batteries smaller, cheaper, and more efficient.
  • Coffee rings would show that humans once labored here, proudly.
  • And so he labored with singular focus and determination to achieve material success on the grandest scale possible.
  • His voice this time sounded somewhat more labored, lacking the energetic quality typical of earlier recordings.
  • These sequences are a little, long and rather labored, and there is too much slapstick in them.
  • By all creaseless appearances, she and others have labored to prevent that.
  • To this day, no one knows exactly how many labored here in penal servitude.
  • While his once-crisp speech has become labored and indistinct, he is capable of a slow, tentative smile.
British Dictionary definitions for labored


(of breathing) performed with difficulty
showing effort; contrived; lacking grace or fluency
Derived Forms
labouredly, (US) laboredly, adverb
labouredness, (US) laboredness, noun


verb, noun
the US spelling of 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 labored

also laboured, "learned," mid-15c., past participle adjective from labor (v.). Meaning "done with much labor" is from c.1600.



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.


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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labored in Medicine

labor la·bor (lā'bər)
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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labored in Science
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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labored 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 labored


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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