Word of the Day Archive
Monday May 21, 2012
1. To explain, worry about, or work more than is necessary.
2. To assail persistently, as with scorn or ridicule.
3. To beat vigorously; ply with heavy blows.
4. Obsolete. To labor at.
Yours and everybody else's, thought Swiffers, but he didn't wish to belabor the obvious.
-- Tom Robbins, Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates
It is distasteful to the present writer to belabor any of his fellow writers, living or dead, and, except Boccaccio, who also stood for a detestable human trait, he has here avoided doing so.
-- Ford Madox Ford, The March of Literature
Neither of them possessed energy or wit to belabor me soundly; but they insulted me as coarsely as they could in their little way.
-- Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Like besot, belabor comes from the prefix be- which makes a verb out of a noun and the root labor meaning "to work."