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belabor

[bih-ley-ber]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to explain, worry about, or work at (something) repeatedly or more than is necessary: He kept belaboring the point long after we had agreed.
  2. to assail persistently, as with scorn or ridicule: a book that belabors the provincialism of his contemporaries.
  3. to beat vigorously; ply with heavy blows.
  4. Obsolete. to labor at.
Also especially British, be·la·bour.

Origin of belabor

First recorded in 1590–1600; be- + labor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for belabor

v.

1590s, "to exert one's strength upon," from be- + labor (v.). But figurative sense of "assail with words" is attested somewhat earlier (1590s); and belabored is attested from mid-15c. with a sense of "tilled, cultivated."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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