labour

1 BrE, labor AmE noun
1 WORK (U) effort or work, especially physical work: The garage charges -30 an hour for labour. | manual labour (=work with tools you hold in your hands): Building still involves a lot of manual labour. | withdraw your labour (=protest by stopping work): Workers withdrew their labour for twenty-four hours.
-see also: hard labour
2 WORKERS (U) all the people who work for a company or in a country: Organized labour banded together to fight the anti-union laws. | skilled/unskilled labour: a shortage of skilled labor | cheap labour (=people who are paid very low wages) | labour costs/shortages etc: Immigrants may help to solve labour shortages.
-see also: labour force
3 BABY (singular, uncountable) the process in which a baby is born by being pushed from its mother's body, or the period of time during which this happens: be in labour: Meg was in labour for 6 hours. | go into labour: Diane went into labour at 2 o'clock. | labour pains/ward/room: No men were allowed in the labour room.
4 a labour of love something that is hard work but that you do because you want to
5 my/your labours formal a period of hard work: We sat down to rest after our labours.
2 adjective supporting or connected with the British labour party: a Labour MP | Labour policies 2 BrE labor AmE verb
1 (I) to try very hard to do something; struggle
(+ over): I've been labouring over this report all morning. | labour to do sth: Ray had little talent but labored to acquire the skills of a writer.
2 (I) to work hard: Marina had laboured late into the night to finish her essay.
3 labour under a delusion/misconception/misapprehension etc to believe something that is not true
4 labour the point to describe or explain something in too much detail or when people have already understood it
5 (I) if an engine labours it turns too slowly and with difficulty

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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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