If someone's breathing is laboured, it is slow and seems to take a lot of effort.
⇒ From his slow walk and laboured breathing, Ginny realized he was far from well.
If something such as someone's writing or speech is laboured, they have put too much effort into it so it seems awkward and unnatural.
⇒ The prose of his official communications was so laboured, pompous and verbose.
⇒ Daniel's few encounters with Gold had been characterized by a laboured politeness.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers