I UK [ˈleɪbə(r)] / US [ˈleɪbər] noun
Word forms "labour":
singular labour plural labours
1) [uncountable] economics the workers in a particular country, industry, or company considered as a group

the declining demand for labour in agriculture

a plentiful supply of cheap labour

skilled/unskilled labour:

The demand for skilled labour in the building industry is high.

casual labour (= people who are not employed regularly):

Hotel managers need skilled staff and can't afford to rely on casual labour.

a) the organizations to which workers belong, or their leaders, considered as a group

a meeting between management and labour

organized labour:

In the 1960s the strength of organized labour was becoming more apparent.

b) [only before noun] relating to or involving workers

a labour dispute

The company is passing its higher labour costs on to its customers.

a) [uncountable] work

the traditional division of labour between men and women in the home

The price quoted includes the cost of all labour and materials.

b) labour or labours formal work, especially hard physical work

In return for his labours, he receives food and shelter.

a) [singular/uncountable] the process by which a baby is pushed from its mother's body when she is giving birth to it

drugs to ensure pain-free labour and delivery

go into labour:

She went into labour early this morning.

be in labour:

His wife was in labour for six hours.

b) [only before noun] relating to a woman's labour when she is giving birth to a baby

labour pains

a labour ward

fruit(s) of your labour — the benefits of your hard work

II UK [ˈleɪbə(r)] / US [ˈleɪbər] verb [intransitive]
Word forms "labour":
present tense I/you/we/they labour he/she/it labours present participle labouring past tense laboured past participle laboured
a) formal to work hard, especially physically

Five generations of his family have laboured as fishermen.

b) to put a lot of effort into achieving something
labour over something:

At midnight she was still labouring over the accounts.

labour to do something:

He laboured to make them understand his French.

2) to move very slowly and with difficulty

He laboured up the stairs with his bag of groceries.

Phrasal verbs:

English dictionary. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • labour — [ labur ] n. m. • 1180; de labourer 1 ♦ Travail de labourage, façon donnée à une terre pour la retourner et l ameublir. ⇒ labourage. Labour à bras (à la bêche, à la houe). Labour à la charrue, au tracteur. Labours superficiels ou légers. Labours… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • labour — la‧bour [ˈleɪbə ǁ ər] , labor noun [uncountable] 1. work involving a lot of physical or mental effort: • The garage charges £65 an hour for labour. • those involved in repetitive, unskilled manual labour (= work that involves using your …   Financial and business terms

  • labour — (US & Austral. labor) ► NOUN 1) work, especially hard physical work. 2) workers collectively. 3) (Labour) the Labour Party. 4) the process of childbirth. ► VERB 1) work hard …   English terms dictionary

  • labour — Labour, ou labourage, Cultus agrorum, Agricultura, Aratio, Agricolatio. Qui est en labour, Ager cultus et nitidus. B. Labour de terre, Molitio agrorum. Entretenir le labour, Tenere studia agri colendi. Qui se cognoist au labour, Prudens… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • labour — Labour. s. m. La façon qu on donne aux terres en les labourant. Il faut donner deux labours à cette terre. on luy a donné tant pour son labour. il luy faut payer ses labours & semences. On appelle, Chevaux de labour, Les chevaux dont on se sert… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • labour — British English spelling of LABOR (Cf. labor) (q.v.); for spelling, see OR (Cf. or). As short for the British Labour Party it is from 1906 …   Etymology dictionary

  • labour — la bour, n. Same as {labor}; British spelling. [Chiefly Brit.] [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Labour — (spr. Labuhr), ehemalige Landschaft im südwestlichen Frankreich, Theil der Gascogne; Hauptstadt war Bayonne …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Labour — er det engelske arbejderparti …   Danske encyklopædi

  • labour — is the standard spelling in BrE, whereas labor is the standard form in AmE …   Modern English usage

  • labour — [lā′bər] n., vi., vt. Brit. sp. of LABOR …   English World dictionary

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