labour, n. & v. (US, Austral. labor)
1 a physical or mental work; exertion; toil. b such work considered as supplying the needs of a community.
2 a workers, esp. manual, considered as a class or political force (a dispute between capital and labour). b (Labour) the Labour Party.
3 the process of childbirth, esp. the period from the start of uterine contractions to delivery (has been in labour for three hours).
4 a particular task, esp. of a difficult nature.
1 intr. work hard; exert oneself.
2 intr. (usu. foll. by for, or to + infin.) strive for a purpose (laboured to fulfil his promise).
3 tr. a treat at excessive length; elaborate needlessly (I will not labour the point). b (as laboured adj.) done with great effort; not spontaneous or fluent.
4 intr. (often foll. by under) suffer under (a disadvantage or delusion) (laboured under universal disapproval).
5 intr. proceed with trouble or difficulty (laboured slowly up the hill).
6 intr. (of a ship) roll or pitch heavily.
7 tr. archaic or poet. till (the ground).
labour camp a prison camp enforcing a regime of hard labour. Labour Day May
1 (or in the US and Canada the first Monday in September), celebrated in honour of working people. Labour Exchange Brit. colloq. or hist. an employment exchange; a jobcentre. labour force the body of workers employed, esp. at a single plant. labouring man a labourer. labour-intensive (of a form of work) needing a large work force. labour in vain make a fruitless effort. labour-market the supply of labour with reference to the demand on it. labour of Hercules a task needing enormous strength or effort. labour of love a task done for pleasure, not reward.
1 a British political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people.
2 any similar political party in other countries. labour-saving (of an appliance etc.) designed to reduce or eliminate work. labour union US a trade union. lost labour fruitless effort.
ME f. OF labo(u)r, labourer f. L labor, -oris, laborare