Also especially British, la·bour.

Origin of labor

1250–1300; Middle English labour < Middle French < Latin labōr- (stem of labor) work

synonym study for labor

4. See work.

historical usage of labor

The English noun labor comes into English via Old French labor, labour (French labeur ) from Latin labōr-, the inflectional stem of the noun labor “labor, work, toil.” The Latin noun has just about all the meanings of English labor (including that of childbirth), but not the relatively modern English sense “workers, manual workers taken together as a social group or class,” which dates from the 19th century.
The Latin etymology for labor is obscure: the noun may be related to the verb lābī (which has a long ā ) “to move smoothly, slide” (commonly with implication of downward movement). Lābī in its turn may be related to labāre (with a short a in the root syllable) “to be unsteady on one’s feet, falter, totter.” These derivatives of lāb- and lab- may be related to the Latin nouns labium (the source of English labial ) and labrum, both meaning “lip” and, outside Latin, to the Greek noun lobós “lobe (of the ear, liver, or lung), pod (of a vegetable), slip (of a plant)” (and source of English lobe ).


Definition for labor (2 of 2)

labor omnia vincit
[ lah-bohr ohm-nee-ah wing-kit; English ley-ber om-nee-uh vin-sit ]
/ ˈlɑ boʊr ˈoʊm niˌɑ ˈwɪŋ kɪt; English ˈleɪ bər ˈɒm ni ə ˈvɪn sɪt /


work conquers all: motto of Oklahoma.

Example sentences from the Web for labor

British Dictionary definitions for labor

/ (ˈleɪbə) /

verb, noun

the US spelling of labour

Medical definitions for labor

[ lābər ]


The physical efforts of expulsion of the fetus and the placenta from the uterus during parturition.


To undergo the efforts of childbirth.

Scientific definitions for labor

[ lābər ]

The process by which the birth of a mammal occurs, beginning with contractions of the uterus and ending with the expulsion of the fetus and the placenta.

Cultural definitions for labor


The physical processes at the end of a normal pregnancy, including opening of the cervix and contractions of the uterus, that lead to the birth of the baby.