American English

Definition of labor noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (labour) noun
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  1. 1[uncountable] work, especially physical work manual labor (= work using your hands) The price will include the labor and materials. The company wants to keep down labor costs. He was sentenced to two years in a labor camp (= a type of prison where people have to do hard physical work). see also day labor
  2. 2[countable, usually plural] (formal) a task or period of work He was so exhausted from the day's labors that he went straight to bed. People look forward to enjoying the fruits of their labors during retirement.
  3. people who work
  4. 3[uncountable] the people who work or are available for work in a country or company a shortage of labor Employers are using immigrants as cheap labor. Repairs involve skilled labor, which can be expensive. good labor relations (= the relationship between workers and employers)
  5. having baby
  6. 4[uncountable, countable, usually singular] the period of time or the process of giving birth to a baby Jane was in labor for ten hours. She went into labor early. labor pains Older women tend to have more difficult labors.
  7. Idioms
    a labor of love
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    a hard task that you do because you want to, not because it is necessary Writing the book was a labor of love.