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[ley-ber] /ˈleɪ bər/
noun, verb (used without object), verb (used with object), adjective, Chiefly British
Related forms
antilabour, adjective
Usage note
See -or1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for labour
  • Tax wedges measure the share of labour costs attributable to income taxes and social-security contributions less cash benefits.
  • Perhaps your advisor wants to use you for free labour.
  • Netting is labour intensive and still harsh on the bats body.
  • The labour law is now open and has been for a number of years.
  • There was no money or labour expended in producing it.
  • Granted, that leads to a system that recruits graduate students for cheap research labour, instead of cheap teaching labour.
  • Money is also a store of potential energy that can be released when needed, with the purchase of goods, energy and labour.
  • labour unions who dominate the utilities and all the tax money they can levy from it.
  • The changes that occur may be only incremental or major with a large impact on employment, wages and skills of labour.
  • To this must be ascribed their disposition to sleep when abstracted from their diversions, and unemployed in labour.
British Dictionary definitions for labour


productive work, esp physical toil done for wages
  1. the people, class, or workers involved in this, esp in contrast to management, capital, etc
  2. (as modifier): a labour dispute, labour relations
  1. difficult or arduous work or effort
  2. (in combination): labour-saving
a particular job or task, esp of a difficult nature
  1. the process or effort of childbirth or the time during which this takes place
  2. (as modifier): labour pains
labour of love, something done for pleasure rather than gain
(intransitive) to perform labour; work
(intransitive; foll by for, etc) to strive or work hard (for something)
(intransitive) usually foll by under. to be burdened (by) or be at a disadvantage (because of): to labour under a misapprehension
(intransitive) to make one's way with difficulty
(transitive) to deal with or treat too persistently: to labour a point
(intransitive) (of a woman) to be in labour
(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 labour

chiefly British English spelling of labor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or. As short for "the British Labour Party" it is from 1906.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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