hard labor


Definition of hard labor

: compulsory labor of imprisoned criminals as a part of the prison discipline

Examples of hard labor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Convicted of the then-crime of homosexuality, he was sentenced to years in prison and hard labor camps that brought about the end of his life. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "13 Best Movies Based on True Stories of 2018," 7 Nov. 2018 Kim Dong Chul, 64, was arrested in October 2015 and has been serving a 10-year term with hard labor for alleged espionage. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "North Korea moves 3 detained Americans to hotel, reports say; Trump says 'Stay tuned!'," 2 Oct. 2018 He was later sentenced to 15 years hard labor for allegedly stealing a propaganda banner at his hotel. CBS News, "3 freed American detainees on way home from North Korea, Trump says," 9 May 2018 He was sentenced to 40 years at hard labor on each of the charges. Heather Nolan, NOLA.com, "Jury selection underway in trial of man accused in 2014 armed robbery, slaying of Domino's pizza driver," 14 May 2018 Fred Warmbier — the father of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was jailed and sentenced to hard labor in North Korea and died upon returning to the United States — will attend the opening ceremony with Pence . Ashley Parker, Washington Post, "Pence leaves for Asia, focused on increasing pressure on North Korea," 5 Feb. 2018 He had been arrested in January 2016 and accused of stealing a propaganda poster and was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Pompeo arrives in North Korea to prepare for meeting with Kim Jong Un," 2 Oct. 2018 But in the few weeks between his trial and execution date, more than 20,000 people signed a petition on his behalf, and the powers that be ended up commuting his sentence to life imprisonment and hard labor. Alexandra Mullen, WSJ, "‘Conan Doyle for the Defense’ Review: The Case of the Innocent Man," 26 July 2018 Fifteen years of forced hard labor, bound ankle to wrist in chains, simply wasn’t proportionate to the offense of fudging a payroll ledger. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Brainstorm Health: Cruel and Unusual, Amazon and PillPack, Biotech IPO Madness," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hard labor.' 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 hard labor

1651, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for hard labor

Last Updated

5 Mar 2019

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The first known use of hard labor was in 1651

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hard labor


Legal Definition of hard labor

: compulsory labor imposed upon prisoners as part of a sentence or as prison discipline

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