An example of travail is a job that requires physical labor for 10 straight hours.
- very hard work; toil
- labor pains; pains of childbirth
- hardship; trouble
Origin of travailOld French ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form tripalium, instrument of torture composed of three stakes ; from Late Latin tripalis, of three stakes ; from Classical Latin tri-, tri- + palus, a stake: see pale
- to work very hard; toil
- to have labor pains; suffer the pains of childbirth
Origin of travailME travaillen < OFr travaillier, to labor, toil < VL *tripaliare, to torment < *tripalium
- Work, especially when arduous or involving painful effort; toil. See Synonyms at work.
- Tribulation or agony; anguish.
- The labor of childbirth.
intransitive verbtra·vailed, tra·vail·ing, tra·vails
- To work strenuously; toil.
- To be in the labor of childbirth.
Origin of travailMiddle English, from Old French, from travailler, to work hard, from Vulgar Latin *tripaliare, to torture with a tripalium, from Late Latin tripalium, instrument of torture, probably from Latin tripalis, having three stakes : tri-, tri- + palus, stake; see pag- in Indo-European roots.
(plural travails or travaux)
(third-person singular simple present travails, present participle travailing, simple past and past participle travailed)
From Old French travail (“suffering, torment").