Definition of belabour in English:


(US belabor)


  • 1Attack (someone) physically or verbally.

    ‘Bernard was belabouring Jed with his fists’
    • ‘The elderly poet chased the young man, belabouring him round the shoulders with a walking stick.’
    • ‘You could now strike your adversary such a blow with your fist on the face as to render him unconscious, or, of course, you could belabor him with your stick if it were suitable for the purpose.’
    • ‘In the nineteenth century, it was the moral at the heart of a story which led to critics belabouring certain writers.’
    • ‘It seemed to me that there were now two areas: one was that of what you might call highbrow poetry and one could go on belabouring people writing in that field.’
    • ‘He's handling this part just right, it seems to me, by staking out his positions without belaboring them or taking shots at those who disagree (except, of course, for activist judges).’
    • ‘And these hapless people whose gaiety at first had been so peaceful, at length belaboured each other soundly.’
    • ‘So, if you're looking for a weighty tome for a Christmas present, to block a draught or to belabour rival fans, you'll want to enter the competition.’
    • ‘The music will be so loud you think someone's belabouring your whole body with a hammer.’
    • ‘I read that some of my countrymen belaboured some others of my countrymen purely because they came to my city from other parts of my country, searching for jobs.’
    criticize, attack, berate, censure, condemn, denounce, denigrate, revile, castigate, pillory, flay, lambaste, savage, pull to pieces, tear to pieces, find fault with, run down, abuse
    beat, hit, strike, smack, batter, pummel, pound, buffet, rain blows on, thrash, bombard, pelt
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  • 2Argue or discuss (a subject) in excessive detail.

    ‘there is no need to belabour the point’
    • ‘I don't want to belabor the mercury discussion, but I'd like to point out why the hazards are not exaggerated.’
    • ‘With the earnestness of a high-school civics instructor, he continues to belabor the obvious.’
    • ‘I have my own opinions on the matter, obviously, and I've belabored the board sufficiently with them.’
    • ‘But to his credit, it should be emphasized, he does not belabor any theme too much.’
    • ‘This is especially the case when those words simply amount to belabouring the obvious.’
    • ‘This post is some combination of belaboring the obvious and speculating wildly about the future.’
    • ‘At the risk of belabouring the point, let me cite just one other publication dealing with this question.’
    • ‘He got his point across early but yet he belabored it.’
    • ‘Not to belabor the obvious, but our ancestors were fish.’
    • ‘I fear that to make this statement is to belabor the obvious.’
    • ‘The answer is obvious, and there's no point belaboring it.’
    • ‘To belabor the obvious, a lot of the people who stayed did so because they didn't have the money to leave.’
    • ‘Jokes are laboured and belaboured; situations are overindulged and run to exhaustion before they end.’
    • ‘Not to belabor the issue, the question is: why is it so difficult today to resist those pressures?’
    • ‘Now, I don't want to belabor this point, but there is something remarkably obvious that needs to be said.’
    • ‘Rather than belabor the point, I will simply assume the following.’
    • ‘The reasoning seems virtually identical to the articles I have written on this, so I won't belabor it here.’
    • ‘There many other projects and forms of aid which can be cited and there is certainly no need to belabour the point.’
    • ‘But let's not belabor this Peter Pan thing any longer.’
    • ‘The obvious is belabored with depressing frequency; the following passage illustrates this and other problems.’
    over-elaborate, labour, discuss at length, dwell on, harp on about, hammer away at, expound on, expand on
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Late Middle English: from be- + the verb labour.