Definition of “labour” - English Dictionary

“labour” in English

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UK US labor uk /ˈleɪ.bər/ us /ˈleɪ.bɚ/

labour noun (WORK)

C1 [ U ] practical work, especially when it involves hard physical effort:

The car parts themselves are not expensive, it's the labour that costs the money.
manual labour (= hard work using the hands)
labours [ 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.

More examples

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.



UK US labor uk /ˈleɪ.bər/ us /ˈleɪ.bɚ/

Labournoun [ + sing/pl verb ]

uk /ˈleɪ.bər/ us /ˈleɪ.bɚ/


uk /ˈleɪ.bər/ us /ˈleɪ.bɚ/

(Definition of “labour” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“labour” in Business English

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labournoun [ U ]

UK US labor uk /ˈleɪbər/ us

practical work, especially involving physical effort:

The cost will depend on the amount of labour involved.
They gave us an estimated price including parts and labour.
The shorts sell for $45, but the hard labor of the women who made them cost just 50 cents.
Most jobs these days aren't exhausting manual labour.

HR workers in a company or a country, especially people who do practical work with their hands:

skilled/unskilled labour Foreign workers were brought in to fill a temporary shortfall in skilled labor.
We use casual labour during busy periods.
More companies are building plants abroad to take advantage of cheaper labor costs.
withdraw your labour UK

HR to stop working as a way of complaining about or trying to change something, such as pay or working conditions:

The pilots have chosen to withdraw their labour at a crucial time in the airline's history.

(Definition of “labour” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)