hard labor

noun

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

In a there-by-the-grace-of-the-higher-power-of-your-choice moment, Holt even accompanied incarcerated men to their hard labor in the fields. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Joi Ito Resigns as Director of the M.I.T. Media Lab: raceAhead," 9 Sep. 2019 Four hundred years of hard labor, of oppression, of suppression. Steven Petrow, Washington Post, "After the KKK makes a late night visit, a tiny North Carolina town takes a stand," 6 Sep. 2019 Beckman models her incantatory, hallucinogenic films on the ritualistic repetitions of games and hard labor. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "Fairy tales, video games, and hard labor in this artist’s hallucinatory films," 17 July 2019 Warmbier, an Ohio native, was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years of hard labor in prison. Marisa Iati, Washington Post, "Otto Warmbier’s family is suing for a North Korean coal ship seized by U.S. officials," 7 July 2019 Warmbier was an American student on tour who was detained by the North Korean government and later sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor in March 2016 for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from a hotel. Fox News, "Otto Warmbier’s parents file claim for seized North Korean cargo ship as part of $500M judgment against regime," 7 July 2019 He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, though he was released after a year and a half, returning to the United States in June 2017 in a coma with extensive brain damage. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Otto Warmbier's family make claim for North Korean ship 'Wise Honest' seized by US," 6 July 2019 In March 2016, Warmbier was convicted in a show trial of crimes against the state and sentenced to 15 years at hard labor. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Otto Warmbier trends on Twitter as users aghast at Trump photo-op in North Korea," 30 June 2019 Her bones indicated that this woman of perpetual pain had engaged in a lifetime of hard labor. Russell Shorto, New York Times, "In the Hudson Valley, a Drive Back in Time," 17 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of hard labor

1651, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hard labor

Statistics for hard labor

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hard labor

The first known use of hard labor was in 1651

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hard labor

hard labor

noun

Legal Definition of hard labor

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

Comments on hard labor

What made you want to look up hard labor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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