- painfully difficult or burdensome work; toil.
- pain, anguish or suffering resulting from mental or physical hardship.
- the pain of childbirth.
- to suffer the pangs of childbirth; be in labor.
- to toil or exert oneself.
Origin of travail
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for travailing
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
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
And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.The Revelation Explained
- painful or excessive labour or exertion
- the pangs of childbirth; labour
- (intr) to suffer or labour painfully, esp in childbirth
Word Origin and History for travailing
"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.