- productive activity, especially for the sake of economic gain.
- the body of persons engaged in such activity, especially those working for wages.
- this body of persons considered as a class (distinguished from management and capital).
- physical or mental work, especially of a hard or fatiguing kind; toil.
- a job or task done or to be done.
- the physical effort and periodic uterine contractions of childbirth.
- the interval from the onset of these contractions to childbirth.
- (initial capital letter) Also called Labor Department. Informal. the Department of Labor.
- to perform labor; exert one's powers of body or mind; work; toil.
- to strive, as toward a goal; work hard (often followed by for): to labor for peace.
- to act, behave, or function at a disadvantage (usually followed by under): to labor under a misapprehension.
- to be in the actual process of giving birth.
- to roll or pitch heavily, as a ship.
- to develop or dwell on in excessive detail: Don't labor the point.
- to burden or tire: to labor the reader with unnecessary detail.
- British Dialect. to work or till (soil or the like).
- of or relating to workers, their associations, or working conditions: labor reforms.
Origin of labor
Synonyms for laborSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for labor
labor omnia vincit
- work conquers all: motto of Oklahoma.
Related Words for laborjob, industry, employment, energy, activity, worker, laborer, toil, tend, sweat, strive, exertion, pull, chore, travail, strain, diligence, stress, grind, moonlight
Examples from the Web for labor
Contemporary Examples of labor
Expensive day care pushes women out of the labor market while men continue to work outside the home.How Good Dads Can Change the World
Gary Barker, PhD, Michael Kaufman
January 6, 2015
Public sector unions have also fractured the labor movement itself.How Public Sector Unions Divide the Democrats
December 29, 2014
In Turkey, crime groups in border areas are exploiting the labor of Syrian male refugees who cannot find legitimate employment.ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Growing Role of Human Trafficking in 21st Century Terrorism
Louise I. Shelley
December 26, 2014
In the summer of 2014, they both were sentenced to 4-1/2 years in a labor camp.Behind Bars for the Holidays: 11 Political Prisoners We Want to See Free In 2015
December 25, 2014
“When you attack public sector unions now, you are attacking the heart of the U.S. labor movement,” says Dine.The GOP and Police Unions: A Love Story
December 12, 2014
Historical Examples of labor
This, nothing less, is the labor to which we are called and our strength dedicated.
All sorts of labor is got at enormous rates of compensation.The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California
Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont
My field of labor was my own heart, which I endeavored to render pure in the sight of God.Biography of a Slave
He felt committed for labor; glad was he, very, yet perplexed.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
I do not take what I cannot win by my own labor,' said he; 'there was a puma drove up the game for me.'The Trail Book
- the US spelling of labour
Word Origin and History for labor
c.1300, "a task, a project;" later "exertion of the body; trouble, difficulty, hardship" (late 14c.), from Old French labor "labor, toil, work, exertion, task" (12c., Modern French labeur), from Latin laborem (nominative labor) "labor, toil, exertion; hardship, pain, fatigue; a work, a product of labor," of uncertain origin, perhaps originally from the notion of "tottering under a burden," and related to labere "to totter."
Meaning "body of laborers considered as a class" (usually contrasted to capitalists) is from 1839. Sense of "physical exertions of childbirth" is 1590s, earlier labour of birthe (early 15c.), a sense also found in Old French, and cf. French en travail "in (childbirth) suffering" (see travail). Labor Day first marked 1882 in New York City.
late 14c., "perform manual or physical work; work hard; keep busy; take pains, strive, endeavor" (also "copulate"), from Old French laborer "work, toil; struggle, have difficulty," from Latin laborare, from labor (see labor (n.)). The verb in modern French, Spanish, Portuguese means "to plow;" the wider sense being taken by the equivalent of English travail. Sense of "to endure pain, suffer" is early 15c., especially in phrase labor of child. Related: Labored; laboring.
- The physical efforts of expulsion of the fetus and the placenta from the uterus during parturition.
- To undergo the efforts of childbirth.
- The process by which the birth of a mammal occurs, beginning with contractions of the uterus and ending with the expulsion of the fetus and the placenta.