[ley-buh l]


verb (used with object), la·beled, la·bel·ing or (especially British) la·belled, la·bel·ling.

Origin of label

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French: ribbon, perhaps < Germanic. See lap1
Related formsla·bel·er, nounnon·la·bel·ing, adjective, nounnon·la·bel·ling, adjective, nounpre·la·bel, noun, verb (used with object), pre·la·beled, pre·la·bel·ing or (especially British) pre·la·belled, pre·la·bel··la·bel, verb (used with object), re·la·beled, re·la·bel·ing or (especially British) re·la·belled, re·la·bel·ling.un·la·beled, adjectiveun·la·belled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for labeling

Contemporary Examples of labeling

Historical Examples of labeling

  • In addition Marie, skilful too of touch, was put in the labeling department.

    The Story of Silk

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • Why have we such a rage for labeling and cataloguing the beautiful things of Nature?

    Little Brothers of the Air

    Olive Thorne Miller

  • Sample book covers, labeling, tissue paper novelties and decorations (seasonal and year round work, good wages).

    The Making of a Trade School

    Mary Schenck Woolman

  • Westby had completed his geometrical figures and was now engaged in labeling them with letters.

    The Jester of St. Timothy's

    Arthur Stanwood Pier

  • A room with special molding machinery is required and tables for wrapping, labeling and boxing the product are necessary.

    The Book of Cheese

    Charles Thom and Walter Warner Fisk

British Dictionary definitions for labeling



a piece of paper, card, or other material attached to an object to identify it or give instructions or details concerning its ownership, use, nature, destination, etc; tag
a brief descriptive phrase or term given to a person, group, school of thought, etcthe label "Romantic" is applied to many different kinds of poetry
a word or phrase heading a piece of text to indicate or summarize its contents
a trademark or company or brand name on certain goods, esp, formerly, on gramophone records
another name for dripstone (def. 2)
heraldry a charge consisting of a horizontal line across the chief of a shield with three or more pendants: the charge of an eldest son
computing a group of characters, such as a number or a word, appended to a particular statement in a program to allow its unique identification
chem a radioactive element used in a compound to trace the mechanism of a chemical reaction

verb -bels, -belling or -belled or US -bels, -beling or -beled (tr)

to fasten a label to
to mark with a label
to describe or classify in a word or phraseto label someone a liar
to make (one or more atoms in a compound) radioactive, for use in determining the mechanism of a reaction
Derived Formslabeller, noun

Word Origin for label

C14: from Old French, from Germanic; compare Old High German lappa rag
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

Word Origin and History for labeling



c.1300, "narrow band or strip of cloth" (oldest use is as a technical term in heraldry), from Old French label, lambel "ribbon, fringe worn on clothes" (13c., Modern French lambeau "strip, rag, shred, tatter"), possibly from Frankish *labba or some other Germanic source (cf. Old High German lappa "flap"), from Proto-Germanic *lapp- (see lap (n.)).

Later "dangling strip of cloth or ribbon used as an ornament in dress," "strip attached to a document to hold a seal" (both early 15c.), and with a general meaning "tag, sticker, slip of paper" (1670s). Meaning "circular piece of paper in the center of a gramophone record" (1907), containing information about the recorded music, led to meaning "a recording company" (1947).



"to affix a label to," c.1600, see label (n.); figurative sense of "to categorize" is from 1853. Related: Labeled; labeling; labelled; labelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for labeling



See tracer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.