la·​bored | \ ˈlā-bərd How to pronounce labored (audio) \

Definition of labored

: produced or performed with labor labored breathing also : lacking ease of expression a labored speech

Examples of labored in a Sentence

The patient's symptoms included a rapid pulse and labored breathing. The movie's dialogue seems very labored.
Recent Examples on the Web Inching forward, dragging their metal ladder behind them, the labored haggard breathing of the migrants is the only sound apart from the occasional instruction from the smuggler. Matt Rivers, Luis Chaparro And Natalie Gallón, CNN, "Inside a smuggling operation moving migrants across the US-Mexico border," 4 May 2021 The second year can still provide above-average gains, but the market’s path forward tends to be much more labored, even in a stronger economy. Jeffrey Schulze, Forbes, "With Economy Recovering, Bull Market Has More Room To Run," 15 Apr. 2021 Veronica, the daughter, started with mild symptoms at home but was quickly rushed to the hospital once her breathing became labored. Lincee Ray,, "Grey's Anatomy recap: Meredith sees more dead people," 2 Apr. 2021 Onyenwere struggled to find space during Wednesday’s physical game with labored eight-of-21 shooting, including 0-for-five from three-point range. Los Angeles Times, "UCLA’s season ends with loss to Texas in second round of NCAA tournament," 24 Mar. 2021 There are no heroes here, just Kidman fully immersing herself in a character for whom every action is an attack, for whom every word is a wheeze, and for whom every movement looks labored. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, "Nicole Kidman’s 15 Career Golden Globe Nominations, Ranked," 25 Feb. 2021 Daily deaths from the infection are now roughly twice that, and now nearly 500,000 have died, many of them alone in hospital beds following anguished, labored phone calls to family members. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "'He shouldn't be dead': A year after a father's COVID death, a family confronts their loss," 20 Feb. 2021 After a labored campaign, he was allowed into Nixon’s Cabinet as secretary of housing and urban development, nobly pursuing an agenda of desegregation without seeming to recognize that his boss was undercutting his every step. Kevin Mahnken, The New Republic, "Mitt Romney’s Party of One," 12 Feb. 2021 The problem is that his shooting motion often looks slow and labored. Connor Letourneau,, "Why Warriors are encouraging Marquese Chriss and Kevon Looney to shoot 3’s," 17 Dec. 2020

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

1566, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about labored

Time Traveler for labored

Time Traveler

The first known use of labored was in 1566

See more words from the same year

Statistics for labored

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Labored.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for labored



English Language Learners Definition of labored

: produced or done with great effort
: not having an easy or natural quality


la·​bored | \ ˈlā-bərd \

Kids Definition of labored

: produced or done with effort or difficulty labored breathing


la·​bored | \ ˈlā-bərd How to pronounce labored (audio) \

Medical Definition of labored

: produced or performed with difficulty or strain labored breathing

Comments on labored

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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