labor

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labor under the illusion of/that

To live, operate, or function with the unyielding belief in something, especially that which is fanciful, unrealistic, or untrue. Primarily heard in US. Jeremy's always labored under the illusion of being a great writer, even though he's never written more than a few crummy poems. No one likes paying taxes, but those who would call for them to be done away with altogether are laboring under the illusion that our society can function without them!
See also: labor, of

labor under the delusion of/that

To live, operate, or function with the unyielding belief in something, especially that which is fanciful, unrealistic, or untrue. Primarily heard in US. Jeremy's always labored under the delusion of being a great writer, even though he's never written more than a few crummy poems. No one likes paying taxes, but those who would call for them to be done away with altogether are laboring under the delusion that our society can function without them!
See also: delusion, labor, of

labor of love

Work that is done for pleasure rather than money. Katherine spends all of her free time knitting baby clothes for her friends. It must be a labor of love.
See also: labor, love, of

fruits of one's labor(s)

Fig. the results of one's work. We displayed the fruits of our labor at the county fair. What have you accomplished? Where is the fruit of your labors?
See also: fruit, labor, of

in labor

[of a woman] experiencing the pains and exertion of childbirth. Susan was in labor for nearly eight hours. As soon as she had been in labor for an hour, she went to the hospital.
See also: labor

induce labor in someone

to cause the onset of childbirth in a mother-to-be. They decided to induce labor in the mother-to-be. They decided not to induce labor in Alice.
See also: labor

labor at something

to work hard at something. He is laboring at his gardening and won't be back in the house until dinnertime. What are you laboring at so intensely?
See also: labor

labor for someone or something

to work on behalf of someone or something. I labored for them all day, and they didn't even thank me. I have labored for this cause for many years.
See also: labor

labor for something

to work in order to get something, such as money. I was laboring for a pittance, so I decided to get another job. I labor for the love of it.
See also: labor

labor of love

Fig. a task that is either unpaid or badly paid and that one does simply for one's own satisfaction or pleasure or to please someone whom one likes or loves. Jane made no money out of the biography she wrote. She was writing about the life of a friend and the book was a labor of love. Mary hates knitting, but she made a sweater for her boyfriend. What a labor of love.
See also: labor, love, of

labor over someone or something

to work hard on someone or something. The surgeon labored over the patient for four hours. I labored over this painting for months before I got it the way I wanted it.
See also: labor

labor under an assumption

Fig. to function or operate believing something; to go about living while assuming something [that may not be so]. I was laboring under the idea that we were going to share the profits equally. Are you laboring under the notion that you are going to be promoted?
See also: labor

a labor of love

work that you do because it brings you great pleasure Most of Earl's businesses make money, but this one is just a labor of love.
See also: labor, love, of

a labour of love

  (British & Australian) also a labor of love (American & Australian)
an activity that is hard work but that you do because you enjoy it He prefers to paint the house himself - it's a real labour of love.
See also: labour, love, of

labor of love

Work done for one's satisfaction rather than monetary reward. For example, The research took three years but it was a labor of love. This expression appears twice in the New Testament (Hebrews 6:10, Thessalonians 1:3), referring to those who do God's work as a labor of love. [c. 1600]
See also: labor, love, of

stoop labor

Back-bending manual work, especially farm work. For example, They had us picking peas all day, and that's too much stoop labor. [First half of 1900s]
See also: labor, stoop

labor of Hercules

A very difficult task. When the Greek hero Hercules was driven mad because of the goddess Hera's jealousy, he murdered his children. As atonement for his crime, he was obliged to perform twelve demanding tasks, such as slaying or capturing dangerous beasts, obtaining various prized and well-guarded possessions, and cleaning a very dirty stable in just one day. Hercules succeeded and was granted immortality and the hand of the now-mollified Hera's daughter. If your boss gives you an impossible assignment, especially that must be completed in a short time, you could show off your classical education by referring to it as a labor of Hercules.
See also: labor, of
References in classic literature ?
To undermine the ground for fifty feet -- to devote three years to a labor which, if successful, would conduct you to a precipice overhanging the sea -- to plunge into the waves from the height of fifty, sixty, perhaps a hundred feet, at the risk of being dashed to pieces against the rocks, should you have been fortunate enough to have escaped the fire of the sentinels; and even, supposing all these perils past, then to have to swim for your life a distance of at least three miles ere you could reach the shore -- were difficulties so startling and formidable that Dantes had never even dreamed of such a scheme, resigning himself rather to death.
Five years had wrought greater changes than a century would produce in countries where time and labor have given permanency to the works of man.
Casaubon's original reluctance to let Dorothea work with him had given place to the contrary disposition, namely, to demand much interest and labor from her.
And here Dorothea's pity turned from her own future to her husband's past--nay, to his present hard struggle with a lot which had grown out of that past: the lonely labor, the ambition breathing hardly under the pressure of self-distrust; the goal receding, and the heavier limbs; and now at last the sword visibly trembling above him
When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only.
Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in.
My wealth comes day by day fresh from the labor of the wretches who live in the dens I have just shown you, or of a few aristocrats of labor who are within ten shillings a week of being worse off.
This is the balance sheet of an attempt I made some years ago to carry out the idea of an International Association of Laborers--commonly known as THE International--or union of all workmen throughout the world in defence of the interests of labor.
No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.
Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered by national or State authority?
Much ill-will would also have been required, not to comprehend, through the medium of the poetry of the prologue, that Labor was wedded to Merchandise, and Clergy to Nobility, and that the two happy couples possessed in common a magnificent golden dolphin, which they desired to adjudge to the fairest only.
On the one hand, the chief steward put the state of things to him in the very worst light, pointing out the necessity of paying off the debts and undertaking new activities with serf labor, to which Pierre did not agree.
The Gatholians consider themselves a race of warriors and as such prefer not to labor in the mines.
Here came to dinner all sorts and conditions of men,--scientists, politicians, bankers, merchants, professors, labor leaders, socialists, and anarchists.
And often she found herself dreaming of the arcadian days of her people, when they had not lived in cities nor been vexed with labor unions and employers' associations.