What does labour mean?

Definitions for labour
ˈleɪ bərlabour

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word labour.

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. 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"

  3. 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

  4. labor, labour, toilverb

    productive work (especially physical work done for wages)

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

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

    work hard

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

  6. 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"

  7. labor, labourverb

    undergo the efforts of childbirth


  1. labournoun

    Effort expended on a particular task; toil, work.

  2. labournoun

    Workers in general; the working class, the workforce; sometimes specifically the labour movement, organised labour.

  3. labournoun

    A political party or force aiming or claiming to represent the interests of labour.

  4. labournoun

    The act of a mother giving birth

  5. labournoun

    The time period during which a mother gives birth.

  6. labourverb

    To toil, to work.

  7. labourverb

    To belabour, to emphasise or expand upon (a point in a debate, etc).

    I think we've all got the idea. There's no need to labour the point.

  8. Labournoun

    Short for the Labour Party.

  9. Etymology: From labouren, from laborer, from laborare, from labor; perhaps remotely akin to robur.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. LABOURnoun

    Etymology: labeur, French; labor, Latin.

    If I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, it is labour well bestowed. William Shakespeare, M. W. of Windsor.

    I sent to know your faith, lest the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. 1 Thes. iii. 5.

    Being a labour of so great difficulty, the exact performance thereof we may rather wish than look for. Richard Hooker.

    You were wont to say,
    If you had been the wife of Hercules
    Six of his labours you’d have done, and sav’d
    Your husband so much sweat. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Moderate labour of the body conduces to the preservation of health, and curing many initial diseases; but the toil of the mind destroys health, and generates maladies. Gideon Harvey.

    Sith of womens labours thou hast charge,
    And generation goodly doest enlarge,
    Incline thy will to effect our wishful vow. Edmund Spenser, Epith.

    Not knowing ’twas my labour, I complain
    Of sudden shootings, and of grinding pain;
    My throws come thicker, and my cries encreas’d,
    Which with her hand the conscious nurse suppress’d. Dryd.

    Not one woman of two hundred dies in labour. John Graunt.

    His heart is in continual labour; it even travails with the obligation, and is in pangs ’till it be delivered. Robert South, Serm.

  2. To Labourverb

    To use brevity, and avoid much labouring of the work, is to be granted to him that will make an abridgment. 2 Mac.

    The matter of the ceremonies had wrought, for the most part, only upon light-headed, weak men, whose satisfaction was not to be laboured for. Edward Hyde.

    The pains of famish’d Tantalus shall feel,
    And Sisyphus that labours up the hill,
    The rowling rock in vain, and curst Ixion’s wheel. Dryd.

    Had you requir’d my helpful hand,
    Th’ artificer and art you might command,
    To labour arms for Troy. John Dryden, Æneis.

    An eager desire to know something concerning him, has occasioned mankind to labour the point under these disadvantages, and turn on all hands to see if there were any thing left which might have the least appearance of information. Alexander Pope, Essay on Homer.

    Take, shepherd, take a plant of stubborn oak,
    And labour him with many a sturdy stroak. John Dryden, Virg.

  3. To Labourverb

    Etymology: laboro, Latin.

    When shall I come to th’ top of that same hill?
    —— You do climb up it now; look how we labour. William Shakespeare.

    For your highness’ good I ever labour’d,
    More than mine own. William Shakespeare, Hen. VIII.

    Who is with him?
    —— None but the fool, who labours to out-jest
    His heart-struck injuries. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    Let more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein. Exod. v. 9.

    Epaphras saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect. Col. iv. 12.

    A labouring man that is given to drunkenness shall not be rich. Ecclus. xix. 1.

    That in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day. Neh. iv. 22.

    Yet is there no end of all his labours; neither saith he, for whom do I labour. Eccl. iv. 8.

    As a man had a right to all he could employ his labour upon, so he had no temptation to labour for more than he could make use of. John Locke.

    The stone that labours up the hill,
    Mocking the labourer’s toil, returning still,
    Is love. George Granville.

    They abound with horse,
    Of which one want our camp doth only labour,
    And I have found ’em coming. Ben Jonson, Catiline.

    I was called to another, who in childbed laboured of an ulcer in her left hip. Richard Wiseman.

    To this infernal lake the fury flies,
    Here hides her hated head, and frees the lab’ring skies. Dryd.

    Trumpets and drums shall fright her from the Throne,
    As sounding cymbals aid the lab’ring moon. John Dryden, Aur.

    This exercise will call down the favour of heaven upon you, to remove those afflictions you now labour under from you. William Wake, Preparation for Death.

    There lay a log unlighted on the earth,
    When she was lab’ring in the throws of birth;
    For th’ unborn chief the fatal sisters came,
    And rais’d it up, and toss’d it on the flame. John Dryden, Ovid.

    Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode,
    And seem’d to labour with th’ inspiring God. Alexander Pope.

    He is so touch’d with the memory of her benevolence and protection, that his soul labours for an expression enough to represent it. Notes on the Odyssey.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Labour

    lā′bur, n. toil or exertion, esp. when fatiguing: work: pains: duties: a task requiring hard work: the pangs of childbirth.—v.i. to undergo labour: to work: to take pains: to be oppressed: to move slowly: to be in travail: (naut.) to pitch and roll heavily.—adj. Labō′rious, full of labour: toilsome: wearisome: devoted to labour: industrious.—adv. Labō′riously.—n. Labō′riousness.—adj. Lā′boured, bearing marks of labour or effort in the execution.—ns. Lā′bourer, one who labours: one who does work requiring little skill; Lā′bourist, one who contends for the interests of workmen.—adjs. Lā′bour-sav′ing, intended to supersede or lessen the labour of men; Lā′boursome (Shak.), made with labour and diligence.—Labour Day, a legal holiday in some parts of the United States, as in New York (the first Monday in September); Labour market, the supply of unemployed labour in relation to the demand for it; Labour of love, work undertaken merely as an act of friendliness, and without hope of emolument; Labour with, to take pains to convince.—Hard labour, compulsory work imposed on certain criminals in addition to imprisonment. [O. Fr. labour, labeur—L. labor.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. labour

    In the relative mechanical efforts of the human body labouring in various posture, 682-1/3 have been given for the rowing effort, 476 for the effort at a winch, and 209-1/3 for the effort at a pump.

Suggested Resources

  1. labour

    Song lyrics by labour -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by labour on the Lyrics.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'labour' in Nouns Frequency: #300

  2. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'labour' in Adjectives Frequency: #86

How to pronounce labour?

How to say labour in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of labour in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of labour in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of labour in a Sentence

  1. Finance Minister Michel Sapin:

    First and foremost we must be firm, doing otherwise would be wrong with respect to (other) labour unions, most of whom support the text.

  2. Saadi Shirazi:

    Labour like a man, and be ready in doing kindnesses. He is a good-for-nothing fellow who eateth by the toil of another?s hand.

  3. Jeremy Corbyn:

    I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60 percent of Labour members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning.

  4. Jesus Christ:

    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

  5. Prime Minister Enda Kenny:

    Despite the disappointing outcome, which did not return the outgoing Fine Gael–Labour government, Fine Gael will be the largest group and we are determined to play our part in providing the Irish people with a government, we will engage fully and inclusively with other parties, groups and independent deputies to ensure that such a government is established.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for labour

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • عملArabic
  • трудBulgarian
  • porodní bolesti, dělnictvo, porod, pracovní síly, námaha, práceCzech
  • llafur, gweithwyr, gwaithWelsh
  • gebären, arbeiten, Arbeiter, ArbeitGerman
  • εργάζομαι, εργατικό δυναμικό, εργατικοί, εργασία, ωδίνες τοκετού, δουλειά, κοπιάζω, εργατικό κόμμα, μόχθος, τοκετός, κόπος, δουλεύω, γέννα, μοχθώGreek
  • trabajar, trabajadores, parto, trabajo, campesinosSpanish
  • synnytys, ahertaa, raataa, aherrus, työvoima, työläisetFinnish
  • travailler, travail, ouvrage, accouchementFrench
  • saothar, obairIrish
  • saothairScottish Gaelic
  • לידהHebrew
  • काम करनाHindi
  • munkásság, munka, szülésHungarian
  • ծննդաբերություն, երկունք, աշխատել, աշխատանքArmenian
  • lavoranti, lavoratori, lavoro, lavorare, partoItalian
  • 働く, 労働Japanese
  • 로동, 일하다, 勞動, 노동Korean
  • taimahi, whānau, taunahua, whānautangaMāori
  • praca, pracować, poródPolish
  • trabalhar, parto, trabalho, mão-de-obraPortuguese
  • lavurRomansh
  • muncă, muncitori, lucrătoriRomanian
  • рабочий, труд, работать, роды, рабочий класс, трудитьсяRussian
  • arbetskraft, arbete, arbetaSwedish
  • కార్మికులు, శ్రమ, ప్రసవంTelugu
  • کام کرناUrdu
  • lao động, 勞動Vietnamese
  • קימפּעטYiddish

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    property that provides tax income for local governments
    • A. accommodation
    • B. rateables
    • C. aerial
    • D. bowel

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