synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of labour in English

English Online Dictionary. What means labour‎? What does labour mean?

  • labor (US)

From Middle English labouren, from Old French laborer, from Latin laborare ((intransitive) to labor, strive, exert oneself, suffer, be in distress, (transitive) to work out, elaborate), from labor (labor, toil, work, exertion); perhaps remotely akin to robur (strength). Displaced native English swink (toil, labor).

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈleɪ.bə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈleɪ.bɚ/
  • Rhymes: -eɪbə(ɹ)

labour (countable and uncountable, plural labours) (British spelling, Canadian spelling, Australian spelling, New Zealand spelling)

  1. Effort expended on a particular task; toil, work.
  2. That which requires hard work for its accomplishment; that which demands effort.
  3. (uncountable) Workers in general; the working class, the workforce; sometimes specifically the labour movement, organised labour.
  4. (uncountable) A political party or force aiming or claiming to represent the interests of labour.
  5. (medicine, obstetrics) The act of a mother giving birth.
  6. The time period during which a mother gives birth.
  7. (nautical) The pitching or tossing of a vessel which results in the straining of timbers and rigging.
  8. (historical) A traditional unit of area in Mexico and Texas, equivalent to 177.1 acres or 71.67 ha.
  9. (uncommon, zoology) A group of moles.

Like many others ending in -our/-or, this word is spelled labour in the UK and labor in the U.S. As such, labor is the more common spelling of the unit. In Canada, labour is preferred, but labor is not unknown. In Australia, labour is the standard spelling, but the Australian Labour Party, founded 1908, "modernised" its spelling to Australian Labor Party in 1912 at the suggestion of American-born King O'Malley, who was a prominent leader in the ALP.

  • (work): swink, toil, work
  • (unit of area): quarter-section
  • (unit of area): vara (1/1,000,000 labor), sitio
  • laborious
  • laboural

labour (third-person singular simple present labours, present participle labouring, simple past and past participle laboured) (British spelling, Canadian spelling, Australian spelling, New Zealand spelling)

  1. (intransitive) To toil, to work.
  2. (transitive) To belabour, to emphasise or expand upon (a point in a debate, etc).
  3. To be oppressed with difficulties or disease; to do one's work under conditions which make it especially hard or wearisome; to move slowly, as against opposition, or under a burden.
  4. To suffer the pangs of childbirth.
  5. (nautical) To pitch or roll heavily, as a ship in a turbulent sea.
  • labourer
  • labourism
  • labourist
  • labourite
  • labour-saving
  • marmalade labour
  • laboratory
  • “labor”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
  • “labour”, in The Century Dictionary [], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
  • “labour”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
  • "labour" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 176.


  1. work, job

Deverbal from labourer. See also labeur.

labour m (plural labours)

  1. cultivation
  • labourable
  • labourage
  • labourer
  • “labour”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.

labour oblique singularm (oblique plural labours, nominative singular labours, nominative plural labour)

  1. (late Anglo-Norman) Alternative spelling of labur

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.