- Labour is the British spelling of the world labor, which is defined as work.
Physical work is an example of labour.
& adj.Chiefly British
(countable and uncountable, plural labours) (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada)
- Effort expended on a particular task; toil, work.
- That which requires hard work for its accomplishment; that which demands effort.
- (uncountable) Workers in general; the working class, the workforce; sometimes specifically the labour movement, organised labour.
- (uncountable) A political party or force aiming or claiming to represent the interests of labour.
- The act of a mother giving birth.
- The time period during which a mother gives birth.
- (nautical) The pitching or tossing of a vessel which results in the straining of timbers and rigging.
- An old measure of land area in Mexico and Texas, approximately 177 acres.
Like many other words ending in -our/-or, this word is spelled labour in the UK and labor in the U.S.; in Canada, labour is preferred, but labor is not unknown. In Australia, where labour is the usual spelling, labor is nonetheless used in the name of the Australian Labor Party, reflecting the fact that the -or endings had some currency in Australia in the past.
- Adjectives often used with "labour": physical, mental, technical, organised.
(third-person singular simple present labours, present participle labouring, simple past and past participle laboured) (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada)
- (intransitive) To toil, to work.
- To belabour, to emphasise or expand upon (a point in a debate, etc).
- I think we've all got the idea. There's no need to labour the point.
- To be oppressed with difficulties or disease; to do one's work under conditions which make it especially hard or wearisome; to move slowly, as against opposition, or under a burden.
- To suffer the pangs of childbirth.
- (nautical) To pitch or roll heavily, as a ship in a turbulent sea.
From Middle English labouren, from Old French laborer, from Latin laborare (“(intransitive) to labor, strive, exert onself, suffer, be in distress, (transitive) to work out, elaborate”), from labor (“labor, toil, work, exertion”); perhaps remotely akin to robur (“strength”).
- Short for the Labour Party.