Word forms: labours
Definitionsregional note: in AM, use labor
1. uncountable noun
Labour is very hard work, usually physical work. [+ of] ⇒ ...the labour of seeding, planting and harvesting. ⇒ The chef at the barbecue looked up from his labours; he was sweating.
3. verb Someone who labours works hard using their hands. [V] ⇒ ...peasants labouring in the fields. [V] ⇒ Her husband laboured at the plant for 17 years. 4. verb
If you labour to do something, you do it with difficulty. [V to-inf] ⇒ For twenty-five years now he has laboured to build a religious community. [V + under] ⇒ ...a young man who's labouring under all kinds of other difficulties.
5. uncountable noun Labour is used to refer to the workers of a country or industry, considered as a group. ⇒ Latin America lacked skilled labour. ⇒ ...the struggle between capital and labour. ⇒ They were cheap labour. 6. uncountable noun [oft poss N]
The work done by a group of workers or by a particular worker is referred to as their labour. ⇒ Every man should receive a fair price for the product of his labour. ⇒ The unemployed cannot withdraw their labour–they have no power.
7. proper noun [with sing or pl verb] In Britain, people use Labour to refer to the Labour Party. ⇒ He believes that, historically, Labour has been most successful as the party that helped people get on in life. ⇒ They all vote Labour. 8. adjective A Labour politician or voter is a member of a Labour Party or votes for a Labour Party. ⇒ ...a Labour MP. ⇒ Millions of Labour voters went unrepresented. 9. verb If you labour under a delusion or misapprehension, you continue to believe something which is not true. [V + under] ⇒ She laboured under the illusion that I knew what I was doing. [V + under] ⇒ You seem to be labouring under considerable misapprehensions. 10. verb If you labour a point or an argument, you keep making the same point or saying the same thing, although it is unnecessary. [V n] ⇒ I don't want to labour the point but there it is. 11. uncountable noun Labour is the last stage of pregnancy, in which the baby is gradually pushed out of the womb by the mother. ⇒ I thought the pains meant I was going into labour. ⇒ Some women prefer to move about during labour.
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