Word of the Day: labor

Word of the Day
April 29, 2016
labor (US), labour (UK) (noun, verb, adjective)
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Labor is a noun that means 'an activity to produce something' and it is also the workers payed for doing such activity, considered collectively as a group. It is also physical or mental work, especially when the activity is hard and tiring. Labor is also the last stage in pregnancy, when the baby is born. As a verb, to labor means 'to work' and it is mostly used for manual tasks that involve great effort. Figuratively, it means 'to move really slowly and with effort,' and it also means 'to work to achieve a certain goal.' As an adjective, it refers to everything related to work and workers.


Example sentences
It takes a lot of labor to build a house!
Many farmers complain that it is hard to find extra labor during harvest time.
Getting to the top of the steep hill was a real labor.
Julie went into labor early, and her baby was born after just eight months of pregnancy.
The writer had been laboring over her masterpiece for years.
The old man labored over the rough ground.
The negotiators labored to reach an agreement.
This government has introduced a number of new labor laws.


Words often used with labor
labor the point: to go over something, especially an argument, too much or in too much detail. Example: "We understand your argument; you can stop laboring the point now!"
labor of love: something you make a great effort over because it is very important to you. Example: "The sculptor took months to perfect the statue; it was a real labor of love."
labor under a misapprehension: to be mistaken about something, usually leading you to misunderstand what is being said or is happening. Example: "The tourist couldn't understand why the staff wouldn't let him have a room, but in the end he realized he had been laboring under a misapprehension; the hôtel de ville was the town hall and not a hotel!"
Multi-word forms
Labour Party: in the UK this is the party that was originally founded to represent working-class people.
Did you know?
International Workers' Day, sometimes called Labor Day, is held every year on May 1 (May Day) as a celebration for workers and the working classes. May Day is a public holiday in a lot of European countries, and the date was also chosen because it is close to the date of the Haymarket Riot, an initially peaceful workers' rally that descended into violence, held in Chicago on May 4, 1886. However, some countries celebrate Labor Day on a date that is significant to them; in the United States, for example, Labor Day is the first Monday in September.
Other forms
laboringly (adverb), laborless (adjective), laborer (noun)
Labor dates back to the second half of the 13th century and comes from the Latin word labōr- (stem of labor), meaning 'work' and the Middle French and Middle English word labour.
Labor in other languages
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