• synonyms


[luh-bawr-ee-uhs, -bohr-]
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  1. requiring much work, exertion, or perseverance: a laborious undertaking.
  2. characterized by or requiring extreme care and much attention to detail: laborious research.
  3. characterized by or exhibiting excessive effort, dullness, and lack of spontaneity; labored: a strained, laborious plot.
  4. given to or diligent in work: a careful, laborious craftsman.
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Origin of laborious

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Latin word labōriōsus. See labor, -ious
Related formsla·bo·ri·ous·ly, adverbla·bo·ri·ous·ness, nounqua·si-la·bo·ri·ous, adjectivequa·si-la·bo·ri·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·la·bo·ri·ous, adjectivesu·per·la·bo·ri·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·la·bo·ri·ous·ness, nounun·la·bo·ri·ous, adjectiveun·la·bo·ri·ous·ly, adverbun·la·bo·ri·ous·ness, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for laborious

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It is his magnum opus in literature, and exhibits wide and laborious research.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • For his perilous and laborious work it was better, he judged, that he should not be married.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Under these laborious shades a whole world of light revealed itself.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Life here is laborious, but downright want I should say rare.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • O the days that he had seen her careful and laborious for him!

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for laborious


  1. involving great exertion or long effort
  2. given to working hard
  3. (of literary style, etc) not fluent
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Derived Formslaboriously, adverblaboriousness, noun
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 laborious


late 14c., "hard-working, industrious," from Old French laborios "arduous, wearisome; hard-working" (12c., Modern French laborieux), from Latin laboriosus "toilsome, wearisome, troublesome," from labor (see labor (n.)). Meaning "costing much labor, burdensome" is from early 15c.; meaning "resulting from hard work" is mid-15c. Related: Laboriousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper