From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishlabourlabour1 British English, labor American English ●●○ S3 W3 AWL noun 1 work [uncountable]WORK/DO WORK work, especially physical work The garage charges £30 an hour for labour. Many women do hard manual labour (=work with their hands). Workers withdrew their labour (=protested by stopping work) for twenty-four hours. → hard labour2 workers [uncountable]WORKER all the people who work for a company or in a country a shortage of skilled labor We need to reduce our labour costs.3 baby [singular, uncountable]BABY/HAVE A BABY the process of giving birth to a babyin labour Meg was in labour for ten hours. Diane went into labour at 2 o'clock.a long/short/difficult labour The labour pains were unbearable.labour ward/room (=a room in a hospital where women give birth)4 → a labour of love5 → somebody’s laboursCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: all the people who work for a company or in a countryADJECTIVES/NOUN + labourskilled/unskilled labourEmployers want to keep skilled labour because of the cost of training.cheap labour (=workers who have low wages)Women and children were used as cheap labour.casual labour (=workers who do jobs that are not permanent)The industry makes use of a large supply of casual labour.child labourThe shoe company was accused of using child labour in its factory.slave labourCotton was grown using slave labor.labour + NOUNthe labour force (=all the people who work in a country or for a company)We need an educated labour force.the labour supply (=all the people available to work)What was the effect of the war on the labour supply?the labour market (=the people looking for work and the jobs available)the percentage of women in the labour marketa labour shortageImmigrants came into the country to fill the labour shortage.labour costsThere was pressure to keep down labour costs.
Examples from the Corpuslabour• Our produce prices cannot compete with those of Spain, with its cheap labour and sunshine.• In practice, the conditions for perfectly competitive labour and product markets do not apply.• Overaccumulation meant there was insufficient labour to keep old plants going, so they had to be scrapped.• One of the horses had gone into labour while the farmer was away.• Large-scale growth in this type of farming is limited by the climate and the high cost of labour.• Deskilling is symptomatic of the way in which a worker's labour is taken possession of by the capitalist.• His Milton and Dante fetch pathetically small sums in comparison with the labour and skill they cost.• The labour force is growing at a rate of 4% a year.• Many women do all the work in the home, and their labour is unpaid.• Marx defined the working class as people who sell their labour to employers.withdrew ... labour• The disparity arises because some of those who lost their jobs withdrew from the labour market, perhaps through early retirement.labour ward/room• Who got fathers into the labour wards?• They took me down to the labour room.• I arrived at the hospital and was shown to the labour room.• The labour ward provides user-friendly notes for pregnant women, arising out of discussions with patients. labourlabour2 British English, labor American English ●○○ AWL verb [intransitive] 1 WORK HARDto work hard They laboured all day in the mills.labour over I’ve been labouring over this report all morning.labour to do something Ray had little talent but labored to acquire the skills of a writer.2 → labour under a delusion/misconception/misapprehension etc3 → labour the point4 [always + adverb/preposition]TT to move slowly and with difficulty I could see the bus labouring up the steep, windy road.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuslabour• Because I feel any attachment to this city or this world where I have laboured?• The goal was just what the team needed, at the end of a game in which they had laboured hard to overcome Chelsea.• She rested now and then under the shade of the cypresses and watched other tourists labouring in the heat.• Sheffield is a city where steel-workers once laboured in their thousands.• At the bottom of the scale, the majority were untouchables, labouring on the land.• Shipman was seated in his office, labouring over his paperwork, when I came in.• You have laboured up an unending hill with heavy feet which are swollen, sore and tired.• From Sunday lunch-time to breakfast today, their mountain of prevaricating committees have laboured without bringing forth even a mouse.labour to do something• They laboured to make the empire internally consistent.• The fitters laboured to modify the jeeps for desert travel and to a completely novel specification.• In one sense it might also be said to have laboured to produce a mouse.• But their performance, as on other occasions this season, was laboured to say the least.• If this was his attempt to give Chloe a radical new dynamism, it was all too laboured to succeed.LabourLa‧bour /ˈleɪbə $ -ər/ noun PPGthe British Labour Party → Liberal Democratunder Labour Most people will pay higher taxes under Labour. They always vote Labour.Labour MP/candidate —Labour adjective a Labour policy
Examples from the CorpusLabour• In 1979 Labour was obviously in a panic - that set the mood.• The case for abolition was made more urgent as a result of the experience of Labour in government after 1974.• The fact is that Labour wants to keep the poll tax so that it can attack us with it.• Weizman, who had by then become a minister, soon joined the Labour party.• They will get it under Labour.Labour MP/candidate• Neither of these seats was to return a Labour candidate even under the exceptionally favourable circumstances of July 1945.• Standing nearby was Darlington Labour candidate Alan Milburn with a group of his supporters.• In 1922 he became the Labour candidate for the University of London constituency, but he died before the election.• Yesterday a campaign aide for Mr Milburn said the Labour candidate arrived as the whole situation was being resolved.From Longman Business Dictionarylabourla‧bour /ˈleɪbə-ər/ British English, labor American English noun [uncountable]1work involving a lot of physical or mental effortThe garage charges £65 an hour for labour.those involved in repetitive, unskilled manual labour (=work that involves using your hands)2HUMAN RESOURCES withdraw your labour British English to stop working at your job for a period of time as a protestUnion members voted to withdraw their labour for 24 hours.3HUMAN RESOURCESall the people who work for a company or in a countrya shortage of skilled laborSome US companies relocate to Mexico in search of cheap labor (=people who are paid very low wages).The airline’s labor costs are amongst the lowest in the industry. → casual labour → child labour → contract labour → direct labour → forced labour → indirect labour → organized labour → sweated labour