labour1 W1S3 n BrE labor AmE
4 a labour of love
5 somebody's labours
1.) ¦(WORK)¦[U]
work, especially physical work
The garage charges £30 an hour for labour.
Many women do hard manual labour (=work with their hands) .
Workers withdrew their labour (=protested by stopping work) for twenty-four hours.
2.) ¦(WORKERS)¦[U]
all the people who work for a company or in a country
a shortage of skilled labor
Wages for unskilled labour are very low.
small commercial farmers who depend on a casual labour supply
These countries are a source of cheap labour .
the use of child labour
produce grown by slave labor
We need to reduce our labour costs .
Labour shortages have forced the Japanese into making heavy use of industrial robots.
the changing role of mothers in the labour market
3.) ¦(BABY)¦ [singular, U]
the process of giving birth to a baby
in labour
Meg was in labour for ten hours.
Diane went into labour at 2 o'clock.
a long/short/difficult labour
The labour pains were unbearable.
labour ward/room
(=a room in a hospital where women give birth)
4.) a labour of love
something that is hard work but that you do because you want to
5.) sb's labours
formal a period of hard work
After several hours gardening we sat down to admire the results of our labours.
COLLOCATES for sense 2
skilled labour (=workers who have special skills)
unskilled labour (=workers who have no special skills)
casual labour (=workers who do jobs that are not permanent)
cheap labour
child labour
slave labour
labour costs
labour shortage
labour market (=all the people available to work)
labour 2
labour2 BrE labor AmE v [I]
1.) to work hard
They laboured all day in the mills.
labour 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.) labour under a delusion/misconception/misapprehension etc
to believe something that is not true
She had laboured under the misconception that Bella liked her.
3.) labour the point
to describe or explain something in too much detail or when people have already understood it
4.) [always + adverb/preposition]
to move slowly and with difficulty
I could see the bus labouring up the steep, windy road.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • 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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