Synonyms of labour in English:


See definition of labour


1‘the aristocratic disdain for manual labour’


work, toil, employment, exertion, industry, industriousness, toiling, hard work, hard labour, drudgery, effort, the sweat of one's brow, donkey work, menial work

informal slog, grind, sweat, elbow grease

British informal graft

archaic travail, moil


rest, leisure, ease, idleness

2‘the conflict of interest between capital and labour’


workers, employees, workmen, workforce, staff, working people, blue-collar workers, hands, labourers, labour force, hired hands, proletariat, wage-earners, manpower, human resources, personnel

humorous liveware



3‘the labours of Hercules’


task, job, chore, undertaking, mission, commission, assignment

4‘Gina had a long and difficult labour’


childbirth, birth, birthing, delivery, nativity

contractions, labour pains, labour pangs, labour throes

technical parturition

archaic confinement, accouchement, lying-in, childbed, travail


1‘a project on which he had laboured for many years’


work, work hard, toil, slave, slave away, grub away, plod away, grind away, sweat away, struggle, strive, exert oneself, overwork, work one's fingers to the bone, work like a dog, work like a slave, work like a Trojan, keep one's nose to the grindstone

informal slog away, kill oneself, plug away, put one's back into something, peg away

British informal graft

archaic drudge, travail, moil


rest, relax, laze

2‘Newcastle laboured to break down the home team's defence’


strive, struggle, endeavour, work, try hard, make every effort, do one's best, do one's utmost, do all one can, give one's all, give it one's all, give something one's all, go all out, fight, push, be at pains, put oneself out, apply oneself, exert oneself

informal bend over backwards, fall over backwards, lean over backwards, give it one's best shot, pull out all the stops

3‘enough has been said, and there is no need to labour the point’


overemphasize, belabour, overstress, lay too much emphasis on, place too much emphasis on, overdo, strain, over-elaborate, overplay, attach too much importance to, attach too much weight to, make too much of, exaggerate, dwell on, harp on, harp on about, expound on, expand

4‘Rex was labouring under a misapprehension’


suffer from, be a victim of, be burdened by, be overburdened by, be disadvantaged by, be under