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[luh-bawr-ee-uh s, -bohr-] /ləˈbɔr i əs, -ˈboʊr-/
requiring much work, exertion, or perseverance:
a laborious undertaking.
characterized by or requiring extreme care and much attention to detail:
laborious research.
characterized by or exhibiting excessive effort, dullness, and lack of spontaneity; labored:
a strained, laborious plot.
given to or diligent in work:
a careful, laborious craftsman.
Origin of laborious
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin labōriōsus. See labor, -ious
Related forms
laboriously, adverb
laboriousness, noun
quasi-laborious, adjective
quasi-laboriously, adverb
superlaborious, adjective
superlaboriously, adverb
superlaboriousness, noun
unlaborious, adjective
unlaboriously, adverb
unlaboriousness, noun
1. toilsome, arduous, onerous, burdensome, difficult, hard, tiresome, wearisome, fatiguing. 4. hardworking, industrious, assiduous, sedulous, painstaking. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for laborious
  • But such increases are laborious to arrange and politically difficult to push through.
  • Moreover, the continual heavy rains made the travelling difficult and laborious for them, and they weakened.
  • Next comes the laborious haul, which sometimes spans two days or more, through a maze of obstacles and traffic.
  • At this point, our relationship to labor must be laborious.
  • The laborious process of tallying votes by hand used to provide plenty of room for fraud.
  • It turned out that even laborious hooting and scooting weren't enough.
  • Freeing a beached vessel usually involved the laborious unloading of cargo until the boat rode high enough to clear the snag.
  • Both will let you drag your photos to a map, in effect geotagging manually, but it's a little laborious.
  • Those that have become law can be undone in three ways, all laborious.
  • In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing.
British Dictionary definitions for laborious


involving great exertion or long effort
given to working hard
(of literary style, etc) not fluent
Derived Forms
laboriously, adverb
laboriousness, noun
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 laborious

late 14c., "hard-working, industrious," from Old French laborios "arduous, wearisome; hard-working" (12c., Modern French laborieux), from Latin laboriosus "toilsome, wearisome, troublesome," from labor (see labor (n.)). Meaning "costing much labor, burdensome" is from early 15c.; meaning "resulting from hard work" is mid-15c. Related: Laboriousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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