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English definition of “labour”

labour

noun uk UK (US labor)   /ˈleɪ.bər/ us    /-bɚ/

labour noun (WORK)

C1 [U] practical work, especially that which involves physical effort: The car parts themselves are not expensive, it's the labour that costs the money. manual labour (= hard work using the hands) C1 [U] workers, especially people who do practical work with their hands: skilled/unskilled labour labours (US also labors) [plural] literary all the effort and hard work that have been involved in doing a particular piece of work: Are you tired after your labours? West was paid very little for his labours. Retirement is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labours.

labour noun (BIRTH)

C2 [C or U] the last stage of pregnancy from the time when the muscles of the womb start to push the baby out of the body until the baby appears: labour pains She went into (= started) labour at twelve o'clock last night. I was in labour for twelve hours with my first baby. No two labours are ever the same.

labour

verb uk UK (US labor)   /ˈleɪ.bər/ us    /-bɚ/
[I] to do hard physical work: He travelled around Europe labouring to pay his way. [+ to infinitive] Three hours after the explosion, rescue teams were still labouring to free those trapped. [I + adv/prep] to do something slowly with great physical or mental effort: He laboured up the hill with his heavy load. She's been labouring over the same article for days.
(Definition of labour noun, verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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