be·​la·​bor bi-ˈlā-bər How to pronounce belabor (audio)
belabored; belaboring; belabors

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Again, short and sweet, no need to belabor the point. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, 10 May 2023 That emphasis on the social aspect of the images makes sense, though the wall text does tend to belabor this, keyed more to uplift than specific insight. Mark Feeney,, 9 May 2023 Love & Death has just enough fun with this idea without belaboring the point. Chris Vognar, Chron, 20 Apr. 2023 The student actors make their youthfulness work for them, and Seghers gets performances from them that lets all of Kushner’s great monologues sound natural while acknowledging the beauty of the language without belaboring it. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 17 Feb. 2023 Not to belabor the point, but Don’t Panic. Phil Plait, Scientific American, 31 Mar. 2023 With such sharp writing and strong performances, there’s no need to belabor the push-pull between home life and career. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Mar. 2023 Not to belabor a hackneyed metaphor, but designers here did move the ball down the field. New York Times, 22 June 2022 Rather than belabor the events of the ensuing days, suffice it to say, the kitchen was also involved. Dorothy Dworkin,, 14 Dec. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'belabor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of belabor was in 1596

Dictionary Entries Near belabor

Cite this Entry

“Belabor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


be·​la·​bor bi-ˈlā-bər How to pronounce belabor (audio)
: to keep explaining or insisting on to excess
I don't want to belabor the point

More from Merriam-Webster on belabor

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