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travail

[truh-veyl, trav-eyl] /trəˈveɪl, ˈtræv eɪl/
noun
1.
painfully difficult or burdensome work; toil.
2.
pain, anguish or suffering resulting from mental or physical hardship.
3.
the pain of childbirth.
verb (used without object)
4.
to suffer the pangs of childbirth; be in labor.
5.
to toil or exert oneself.
Origin of travail
1200-1250
1200-50; (v.) Middle English travaillen < Old French travaillier to torment < Vulgar Latin *trepaliāre to torture, derivative of Late Latin trepālium torture chamber, literally, instrument of torture made with three stakes (see tri-, pale2); (noun) Middle English < Old French: suffering, derivative of travailler
Synonyms
1. labor, moil. 2. torment, agony.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for travailing
Historical Examples
  • Look at the happiness of the sun, who travailing never tires.

    Vikram and the Vampire Richard F. Burton
  • Our pains were not small or light, but travailing daily from chamber to chamber.

    Hampton Court Walter Jerrold
  • Towards this resurrection all creation is groaning and travailing.

    The Gospel of St. John Frederick Denison Maurice
  • There is a pause in the hurry, in the sorrow, of this travailing world; there is a hush.

    The Near East Robert Hichens
  • And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

  • The good swell is the creature towards which all nature has been groaning and travailing together until now.

  • It seemed inexplicable to her that women went on travailing and giving birth.

  • The earnest expectation of a groaning and travailing creation does wait for the revealing of the sons of God.

    The Bible and Life Edwin Holt Hughes
  • They represent the whole creation as groaning and travailing in pain, but that the creature also shall be delivered.

    The Government of God John Taylor
  • They know themselves re-born in soul, and are dimly aware that the world is travailing toward new birth with them.

    Carry On Coningsby Dawson
British Dictionary definitions for travailing

travail

/ˈtræveɪl/
noun
1.
painful or excessive labour or exertion
2.
the pangs of childbirth; labour
verb
3.
(intransitive) to suffer or labour painfully, esp in childbirth
Word Origin
C13: from Old French travaillier, from Vulgar Latin tripaliāre (unattested) to torture, from Late Latin trepālium instrument of torture, from Latin tripālis having three stakes, from trēs three + pālus stake
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for travailing

travail

n.

"labor, toil," mid-13c., from Old French travail "suffering or painful effort, trouble" (12c.), from travailler "to toil, labor," originally "to trouble, torture," from Vulgar Latin *tripaliare "to torture," from *tripalium (in Late Latin trepalium) "instrument of torture," probably from Latin tripalis "having three stakes" (from tria, tres "three" + palus "stake"), which sounds ominous, but the exact notion is obscure. The verb is recorded from late 13c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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