Synonyms of labour in English:


See UK English 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