labor


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

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: illusion, labor, of, that

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, that

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

stoop labor

Hard, physical labor requiring one to bend over, especially that which would be done on a farm. My grandfather has a permanent hunch in his spine from the stoop labor he had to do throughout his life. Every summer we send the children to my brother's farm. It's good for them to get out of the city for a while and do a little bit of stoop labor.
See also: labor, stoop

labor the point

To talk about or emphasize something excessively and perhaps repetitively, usually to the extent that the listener becomes bored or annoyed. A: "I don't mean to labor the point, but I'm just worried that there won't be enough food at the party." B: "Yeah, we know, you've said that 10 times now." I'm only laboring the point because we still haven't reached a decision.
See also: labor, point

labor of Hercules

A job, task, or activity that requires a huge amount of effort, energy, or physical strength. Sometimes used ironically or hyperbolically. But getting enough votes to pass the controversial legislation may prove to be a labor of Hercules. Sometimes it feels like finding a good burger that isn't the price of a sirloin steak is a labor of Hercules. It will be a labor of Hercules for them to dethrone the former champions in this year's Super Bowl, but they certainly have a shot.
See also: Hercules, labor, of

labor at (something)

To work very hard or diligently to accomplish something. I've been laboring at my Ph.D. for nearly four years now. Pat's out back laboring at repainting the back wall.
See also: labor

labor away (at something)

To work very hard or diligently (to accomplish something). I've been laboring away at my Ph.D. for nearly four years now. Pat always spends his Saturdays laboring away in the back garden.
See also: away, labor

labor for (someone or something)

1. To work very hard or diligently on someone or something else's behalf. We have nearly 30 employees laboring for us at this company, and any decision we make will affect all of them as well! I labored for her political campaign for months, but the moment it was over I was brushed aside without so much as a fare thee well.
2. To work very hard or diligently in order to accomplish, achieve, or obtain something All of our volunteers labor for the betterment of people in need. The huge farming operation, which supplies states across the country, has been accused of forcing migrant workers to labor for only a few dollars an hour, far short of the national minimum wage.
See also: labor

labor over (something)

To put in a lot of time, energy, and effort to successfully accomplish or complete something. I've been laboring over this dissertation for months now. My wife likes to plan every minute of our vacation, laboring over the tiniest details.
See also: labor, over

labor under (something)

To live, function, or operate while believing something or holding an assumption of some kind, especially something that is not or may not be true. We all labored under the assumption that we would be getting paid overtime, so we all nearly quit when we realized that wasn't the case These politicians want us all to labor under the notion that they're our friends, looking out for our interests first and foremost.
See also: labor

the fruits of (one's) labor

The outcome or rewards of one's work or efforts. You worked hard this semester, and straight A's are the fruits of your labor. Please, have some fresh strawberries—they're the fruits of my labor in the garden.
See also: fruit, labor, of

the fruit of (one's) labors

The outcome or rewards of one's work or efforts. You worked hard this semester, and straight A's are the fruit of your labors. Please, have some fresh strawberries—they're the fruit of my labors in the garden.
See also: fruit, labor, of

in labor

In the act of birthing one's offspring. Come on, we've got to get to the hospital—Marisa's in labor! Can you believe she's already been in labor for 15 hours? What the heck am I supposed to do for a cat that's in labor?
See also: labor

induce labor in (someone)

To cause a pregnant woman to begin the birthing process. The doctors plan to induce labor in Alexis if she doesn’t start having contractions by Tuesday. We'll use Pitocin to induce labor in the patient.
See also: induce, labor

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: induce, 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, over

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: assumption, labor

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 love, a

Work done for the pleasure of accomplishment or from personal interest rather than for monetary reward or from a sense of duty; this book, for example. The phrase appears in two Epistles of St. Paul in the New Testament, one to the Hebrews (6:10) and the other to the Thessalonians (1:3), both referring to the faithful who do God’s work as a labor of love.
See also: labor, of

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: Hercules, labor, of
References in periodicals archive ?
He said that no one pays attention to the worst situation of NGOs labors for which we have negotiated with the national and provincial political parties but no laws have constituted so far.
"We have made a careful selection of the judges who will be handling labor courts based on their performance evaluation, their scholarly competence, seniority, high academic qualifications in law and have conducted judicial research related to labor judiciary and relevant international regulations," said the council.
On the other hand, because of its legal cover, the second form of contractualization, the genuine employer-labor-plus contracting has thrived in the labor horizon and there seems to be no stopping its growth, like a kamote plant on fertile soil.
Duterte cannot order a total ban on labor contractualization because only a new law can prohibit such practice.
Pan Shih-wei, vice minister of the Council of Labor Affairs, welcomed the move, citing the examples of many foreign unions which enhance labor-management coordination and boost labor productivity.
Relying on a native labor force and legal temporary workers during the winter-spring season would reduce the increases by half.
What are some of the reasons child labor is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa?
Rather than modernize the economy, Mexico's politicos have used Titoism's safety valve: when incapable of fostering productive jobs, export the labor force.
Crushing stone is considered one of the worst forms of child labor, full of risks from flying rock fragments, misdirected hammers, and years of inhaling dust.
Moreno's Black Americans and Organized Labor: A New History (Louisiana State University Press, January 2006) may come as a shock: "Today, black Americans are the demographic group most likely to belong to a labor union." But according to Race and Labor Matters in the New U.S.
Consistent with this system, it established major cost pools including (among others) (1) engineering labor costs for individuals involved in the planning, design and implementation engineering of specific projects; (2) engineering supervision and clerical support; (3) other engineering department costs; and (4) "provisioning" costs of material and supplies.
Although many arguments may be provided for the centrality of labor history, this essay will not go in that direction.
I cannot tell you how many women over the years have told me how valuable they thought prenatal education was and how it empowered them by providing background knowledge they needed to make the informed decisions one needs to make in labor.
Officials are proudly calling the village high in the Andes their nation's first mining town free of child labor.