Labour - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |ˈleɪbər|  American pronunciation of the word labour
Brit.  |ˈleɪbə|  British pronunciation of the word labour


- a social class comprising those who do manual labor or work for wages (syn: labor, proletariat)
- concluding state of pregnancy; from the onset of contractions to the birth of a child (syn: childbed, confinement, labor, lying- in, travail)
- a political party formed in Great Britain in 1900; characterized by the promotion of labor's interests and formerly the socialization of key industries (syn: labor)
- productive work (especially physical work done for wages) (syn: labor, toil)


- work hard (syn: dig, drudge, fag, grind, labor, moil, toil, travail)
- strive and make an effort to reach a goal (syn: drive, labor, push, tug)
- undergo the efforts of childbirth (syn: labor)


Slave labour has been outlawed.

She was in labour for five hours.

The engine works with labour.

The truck laboured up the hill.

The firm has been labouring under difficulties for the past year.

The garage charges £30 an hour for labour.

Many women do hard manual labour (=work with their hands).

Workers withdrew their labour (=protested by stopping work) for twenty-four hours.

Wages for unskilled labour are very low.

These countries are a source of cheap labour.

We need to reduce our labour costs.

Labour shortages have forced the Japanese into making heavy use of industrial robots.

Meg was in labour for ten hours.

Diane went into labour at 2 o'clock.

The labour pains were unbearable.

Word forms

I/you/we/they: labour
he/she/it: labours
present participle: labouring
past tense: laboured
past participle: laboured
singular: labour
plural: labours
See also:  WebsterWiktionaryLongman