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labor - definition and synonyms


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noun labor pronunciation in American English /ˈleɪbər/
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  1. 1
    [uncountable] all the workers in a particular country, industry, or company considered as a group
    the declining demand for labor in agriculture
    a plentiful supply of cheap labor
    skilled/unskilled labor: The demand for skilled labor in the building industry is high.
    casual labor: Hotel managers need skilled, helpful staff and can’t afford to rely on casual labor.
    1. a.
      [uncountable] the organizations to which workers belong. or their leaders considered as a group
      a meeting between management and labor
      organized labor: The Republican-controlled Congress has reversed many of the laws that are critical to the survival of organized labor.
    2. b.
      [only before noun] relating to or involving workers
      a labor dispute
      labor costs: The company is passing its higher labor costs on to its customers.
      labor unrest: increasing labor unrest in the car industry
      labor relations (=relationships between employers and workers): The agreements were hailed as “a quantum leap for workers and future labor relations.”
    See also slave labor
  2. 2
    [uncountable] work
    the traditional division of labor between men and women in the home
    The price quoted includes the cost of all labor and materials.
    1. a.




      [uncountable] formal work that involves effort, especially physical effort
      In return for his labors, he receives food and shelter.
  3. 3
    [singular/uncountable] the process by which a baby is pushed from its mothers body when she is giving birth to it
    in labor: She was in labor for six hours.
    go into labor: She went into labor early this morning.
    1. a.
      [only before noun] relating to a womans labor when she is giving birth to a baby
      labor pains: My wife called to say that her labor pains had started.


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