An example of travail is a job that requires physical labor for 10 straight hours.
- very hard work; toil
- labor pains; pains of childbirth
- [often pl.] 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 tripāliāre to torture with a tripalium from Late Latin tripālium instrument of torture probably from Latin tripālis having three stakes tri- tri- pālus 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").