be·​la·​bor | \ bi-ˈlā-bər How to pronounce belabor (audio) , 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 How vote count delays flattened expectations into uncertainty Not to belabor the point, but many states have been voting early and by mail for years (though some haven’t). Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "Call it Throwback Tuesday. How uncertainty became election night 2020's top news story," 4 Nov. 2020 To belabor the obvious, the Republican Party has always been our more conservative political party, and the South has always been our most conservative region. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "The Western Origins of the “Southern Strategy”," 29 June 2020 The premise is belabored, narratively speaking, but uncomfortably simple in gameplay. Julie Muncy, Wired, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," 9 May 2020 The puns that were too beautifully belabored to use A clever pun is heaven for some, which may explain why the Good Place hosted prime time’s best wordplays. Dan Snierson,, "The Good Bye: The Good Place creator Mike Schur looks back on four seasons of magic and morality," 30 Jan. 2020 But at the risk of belaboring the obvious here are the numbers that matter: -- Quarterback Justin Herbert passed for 3,333 yards this year. oregonlive, "Goe: Time to pat Oregon Ducks OC Marcus Arroyo on the back for a job well done," 30 Dec. 2019 Newsom said ongoing litigation, unpaid association dues and the substantial amount of work belabored the repair process. Caroline Glenn,, "Once ‘unfit for human habitation,’ Orlando condo complex finishes repairing building defects," 17 Oct. 2019 Yeung keeps things simple in Suk Suk, both thematically and stylistically, never belaboring his points, tipping into archetype or opting for expected dramatic beats. Elizabeth Kerr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Suk Suk': Film Review | Busan 2019," 7 Oct. 2019 These additions, unlike Walter’s fourth-wall-breaking moment, feel superfluous, belaboring what could have been implicit in the acting. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ Burns With New Fire," 1 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for belabor

Time Traveler

The first known use of belabor was in 1596

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Statistics for belabor

Last Updated

17 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Belabor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for belabor


How to pronounce belabor (audio)

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 How to pronounce belabor (audio) \
belabored; belaboring

Kids Definition of belabor

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

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