What does labor mean?

Definitions for labor
ˈleɪ bərla·bor

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word labor.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. labor, labour, working class, proletariatnoun

    a social class comprising those who do manual labor or work for wages

    "there is a shortage of skilled labor in this field"

  2. labor, labour, toilnoun

    productive work (especially physical work done for wages)

    "his labor did not require a great deal of skill"

  3. parturiency, labor, labour, confinement, lying-in, travail, childbednoun

    concluding state of pregnancy; from the onset of contractions to the birth of a child

    "she was in labor for six hours"

  4. labor movement, trade union movement, labornoun

    an organized attempt by workers to improve their status by united action (particularly via labor unions) or the leaders of this movement

  5. British Labour Party, Labour Party, Labour, Labornoun

    a political party formed in Great Britain in 1900; characterized by the promotion of labor's interests and formerly the socialization of key industries

  6. Department of Labor, Labor Department, Labor, DoLnoun

    the federal department responsible for promoting the working conditions of wage earners in the United States; created in 1913

  7. undertaking, project, task, laborverb

    any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted

    "he prepared for great undertakings"

  8. tug, labor, labour, push, driveverb

    strive and make an effort to reach a goal

    "She tugged for years to make a decent living"; "We have to push a little to make the deadline!"; "She is driving away at her doctoral thesis"

  9. labor, labour, toil, fag, travail, grind, drudge, dig, moilverb

    work hard

    "She was digging away at her math homework"; "Lexicographers drudge all day long"

  10. labor, labourverb

    undergo the efforts of childbirth


  1. labornoun

    Effort expended on a particular task; toil, work.

  2. labornoun

    Workers collectively; the workforce; the working class.

  3. labornoun

    The labor union movement; organized labor.

  4. labornoun

    The act of a mother giving birth or the time period during which a mother gives birth.

  5. laborverb

    spelling of labour; see British/Commonwealth entry for definitions, etymology, pronunciation, translations, etc.

  6. Labornoun

    The Australian Labor Party.


  1. labor

    Labor refers to the physical or mental effort that individuals put into the production of goods and services. This can include work done by both employed individuals and those who are self-employed. It is one of the key factors of production in an economy, alongside capital and land. Labor can also refer to the collective workforce of an organization or economy.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Labornoun

    physical toil or bodily exertion, especially when fatiguing, irksome, or unavoidable, in distinction from sportive exercise; hard, muscular effort directed to some useful end, as agriculture, manufactures, and like; servile toil; exertion; work

  2. Labornoun

    intellectual exertion; mental effort; as, the labor of compiling a history

  3. Labornoun

    that which requires hard work for its accomplishment; that which demands effort

  4. Labornoun

    travail; the pangs and efforts of childbirth

  5. Labornoun

    any pang or distress

  6. Labornoun

    the pitching or tossing of a vessel which results in the straining of timbers and rigging

  7. Labornoun

    a measure of land in Mexico and Texas, equivalent to an area of 177/ acres

  8. Labornoun

    to exert muscular strength; to exert one's strength with painful effort, particularly in servile occupations; to work; to toil

  9. Labornoun

    to exert one's powers of mind in the prosecution of any design; to strive; to take pains

  10. Labornoun

    to be oppressed with difficulties or disease; to do one's work under conditions which make it especially hard, wearisome; to move slowly, as against opposition, or under a burden; to be burdened; -- often with under, and formerly with of

  11. Labornoun

    to be in travail; to suffer the pangs of childbirth

  12. Labornoun

    to pitch or roll heavily, as a ship in a turbulent sea

  13. Laborverb

    to work at; to work; to till; to cultivate by toil

  14. Laborverb

    to form or fabricate with toil, exertion, or care

  15. Laborverb

    to prosecute, or perfect, with effort; to urge stre/uously; as, to labor a point or argument

  16. Laborverb

    to belabor; to beat

  17. Etymology: [OE. labouren, F. labourer, L. laborare. See Labor, n.]

Editors Contribution

  1. labor

    The act and process of work or employment.

    The local labor laws were very effective.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 8, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. Labor

    Labor vs. Labour -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Labor and Labour.

  2. Labor

    Labour vs. Labor -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Labour and Labor.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. LABOR

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Labor is ranked #35489 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Labor surname appeared 634 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Labor.

    67.3% or 427 total occurrences were White.
    7.8% or 50 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    7.7% or 49 total occurrences were Asian.
    7.1% or 45 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    5.3% or 34 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    4.5% or 29 total occurrences were Black.

Anagrams for labor »

  1. lobar

  2. Balor

  3. bolar

  4. boral

How to pronounce labor?

How to say labor in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of labor in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of labor in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of labor in a Sentence

  1. Robert NozicK:

    Taxation of earnings from labor is on a par with forced labor. Seizing the results of someone’s labor is equivalent to seizing hours from him and directing him to carry on various activities.

  2. Labor Secretary Seth Harris:

    Car companies are saying they're not able to continue production. Retailers are losing access to product. Agricultural products are rotting in their containers because they can't be shipped overseas, when all that economic impact began to be felt, it became very difficult for the President to do nothing. If Secretary Perez determines that there's no hope of reaching an agreement, the President could be forced to make a difficult choice. . Under the Taft-Hartley Act,, if the President concludes that a strike or labor dispute is a threat to the country's health or safety, he can go to court and seek an injunction to force everybody back to work. This is where a labor dispute could become a more complicated political issue. President Barack Obama is on track to send Congress legislation that will give President Barack Obama fast-track trade authority, an essential tool to win congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations, making it the largest trade deal in American history. The labor movement is generally strongly opposed to fast-track authority and the Trans Pacific Partnership.

  3. De Blasio:

    It includes the protections for labor organizing, the prohibitions that we need to stop companies from inhibiting labor organizing, from ensuring that their employees only get one side of the story and don't hear from organized labor.

  4. Millan Mulraine:

    The bigger question will be determining whether this deterioration in labor market momentum is part of a broader inflection point for the economic recovery, this is the Fed's 'known unknown,' and a risk management approach will require more patience to assess the incoming labor market data for an answer to the question of whether this is a realignment in the labor market dynamics to a more sustainable path, or a more worrying relapse in the recovery.

  5. Victor Hugo:

    A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for labor

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for labor »


Find a translation for the labor definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"labor." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/labor>.

Discuss these labor definitions with the community:

1 Comment
  • Agha Channa
    Agha Channa
    LikeReply 28 years ago

Are we missing a good definition for labor? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Browse Definitions.net


Are you a words master?

the act of passing from one state or place to the next
  • A. humility
  • B. transition
  • C. rateables
  • D. bash

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for labor: