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

The back end is a rather labored effort to extract leadership lessons from their careers. Philip Delves Broughton, WSJ, "‘Leaders’ and ‘Leadership in Turbulent Times’ Review: Getting Things Done," 16 Nov. 2018 Media witnesses including The Associated Press saw Moore take short, gasping breaths that became deeper and more labored. Grant Schulte, The Seattle Times, "Nebraska executes inmate using powerful opioid fentanyl," 14 Aug. 2018 After a labored opening 2-1 win over Australia, France coach Didier Deschamps changed to a more resilient, somewhat lopsided formation with Mbappe given freedom to roam and run at defenders from the right flank. John Leicester,, "Five reasons why France will win the World Cup final," 14 July 2018 There were middle-aged men with jiggling potbellies and barrel chested rugby-player types with labored, heavy strides. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "South Africa's unlikely ultramarathoner helps others cross the finish line," 6 July 2018 With everything else stripped away, the audience can’t help but witness a grimace and hear the labored breathing as the men try to better themselves and their bodies in a variety of ways. Kimber Myers,, "Six men push their bodies to the limit in lyrical documentary 'A Skin so Soft'," 14 June 2018 Lindon seems suitably cast, exuding the right kind of bearish fortitude, but is saddled with labored dialogue. Robert Abele,, "The biopic 'Rodin' about the famous French sculptor lacks shape and drama," 31 May 2018 Back at the park, a camera swoops along an overhead cable to capture the advancing soldiers, Haller's labored attempt to flee toward what looks like (even without digital effects) a harsh end. Chris Barton,, "The second season of FX's otherworldly 'Legion' finds an unlikely home in Los Angeles this week," 8 May 2018 First responders found Hannah unresponsive, with labored breathing and obvious bruises on her head and face, according to the sheriff's office. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Ketchup in toilet led Ohio babysitter to beat girl, 3, to death, court records show," 17 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of labored

1566, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for labored

The first known use of labored was in 1566

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on labored

Nglish: Translation of labored for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of labored for Arabic Speakers

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).


something valued as if it were money

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