be·la·bor | \bi-ˈlā-bər, bē-\
belabored; belaboring; belabors

Definition of belabor 

transitive verb

1a : to attack verbally If I had been ill-natured, I should have shown up the little great man, who had once belabored me in his feeble way.— Oliver Wendell Holmes

b : to beat soundly … ancient battles in which the combatants belabored one another with swords, staffs, cudgels, halberds and other heavy-duty weapons until the blood flowed …— James Rogers

2 : to explain or insist on excessively her habit of belaboring the obvious He needlessly belabored the point.

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Examples of belabor in a Sentence

Her habit of belaboring the obvious makes her a very boring speaker. Please don't belabor the point. He uses his newspaper column to belabor writers for even the most minor grammatical errors.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Walz knows all of this, and also that there's no point in belaboring calls made eight weeks ago. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "NCAA's lash leaves no mark on U of L's women's coach Jeff Walz," 26 May 2018 But, that doesn't mean the episode won't belabor the point. Rebecca Farley,, "The Bachelorette Season 14, Episode 3 Recap: A Skeleton Of A Man," 12 June 2018 Not to belabor the point, but this is a guy who is always going to be among the league leaders in putting the ball in play. Michael Beller,, "Andrelton Simmons Is The Hardest Player to Strike Out in the Big Leagues," 12 June 2018 Both subjects have been belabored, but two new books adroitly place them in a delightful perspective. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "City of Pigeons and Yellow Cabs," 13 June 2018 Don’t belabor your point No one likes a boor or an obsessive, so don’t be one. Dwight Silverman, San Antonio Express-News, "How to be a good internet citizen," 3 July 2018 Before long the artifice becomes offputting, and the comparisons between the two clerics come to seem terribly belabored. Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Pope Francis: A Man of His Word': Film Review | Cannes 2018," 13 May 2018 Rather than belabor the point, Lue took a different approach on Friday. Michael Singer, USA TODAY, "Cleveland Cavaliers' Ty Lue has confidence in team, J.R. Smith after frustrating Game 1," 1 June 2018 To call this self-serving would be to belabor the obvious. David L. Ulin,, "There will be no Nobel Prize in literature this year. And that's a shame.," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'belabor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of belabor

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Phrases Related to belabor

labor/belabor the point

Statistics for belabor

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for belabor

The first known use of belabor was in 1596

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More Definitions for belabor



English Language Learners Definition of belabor

: to talk about (something) for too long : to repeat or stress (something) too much or too often

: to attack or criticize (someone)


be·la·bor | \bi-ˈlā-bər \
belabored; belaboring

Kids Definition of belabor

: to keep explaining or insisting on to excess belabor an argument

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Comments on belabor

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lying above or upon

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