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.

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web There’s heavy material here, but ‘Passing’ doesn’t belabor its points. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 29 Oct. 2021 To belabor the point: U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh was in Cleveland on Monday promoting Democratic President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. cleveland, 26 Oct. 2021 Not to belabor the movie-industry metaphor, but Korea had a Marvel Cinematic Universe problem long before Hollywood was overrun by superhero sequels. William Pesek, Forbes, 22 Oct. 2021 To belabor a recent theme of this space as well as the obvious, pragmatists have the stronger political argument in the national context. John Brummett, Arkansas Online, 21 Sep. 2021 There’s no easy way into this conversation, and Mira does admirably not to belabor it. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 19 Sep. 2021 Not to belabor the point, but that’s exactly the problem something like the California bill is trying to remedy. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 16 Sep. 2021 Kicker Greg Zuerlein was disappointing — no need to belabor that point — but so was the kickoff coverage at times. David Moore, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2021 What has changed, however, is the degree to which the novel seems to anxiously belabor its own status, especially in Alice’s emails. Jane Hu, Vulture, 3 Sep. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of belabor

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Learn More About belabor

Time Traveler for belabor

Time Traveler

The first known use of belabor was in 1596

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near belabor




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for belabor

Last Updated

6 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Belabor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 How to pronounce belabor (audio) \
belabored; belaboring

Kids Definition of belabor

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

More from Merriam-Webster on belabor

Nglish: Translation of belabor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of belabor for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!