la·​bor·​er | \ ˈlā-bər-ər How to pronounce laborer (audio) \

Definition of laborer

: one that labors specifically : a person who does unskilled physical work for wages

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Examples of laborer in a Sentence

He has been working as a laborer on a construction project. having no real skills, the men could only find work as laborers unloading cargo ships

Recent Examples on the Web

President Moon, who once represented South Korean forced laborers as a lawyer in the 2000s, said after taking office last year said that the 1965 treaty cannot prevent individuals from exercising their rights to receive damage compensation. Kim Tong-hyung, The Seattle Times, "Court orders Japan company to pay 4 Koreans for forced labor," 30 Oct. 2018 If it is shipped to a developing country where small-scale workshops try to recover the valuable components, the laborers are exposed to the poisons. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, "'E-waste': Getting grip on a growing global problem," 9 July 2018 Other laws were also enacted to keep certain laborers from coming to the country. Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, "The story of Donald Trump’s grandfather, who came to the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor," 27 June 2018 But the project, which employed more than 40,000 laborers, also took immense liberties with human life. Caroline Lieffers, Smithsonian, "How the Panama Canal Took a Huge Toll On the Contract Workers Who Built It," 18 Apr. 2018 Gus first came to the U.S. because his father had heard that the country needed laborers and brought along his greatest assets - his three strapping sons. Andrea Simakis,, "Before we were Cavs Nation, Cleveland was 'a nation of immigrants': Andrea Simakis," 25 Feb. 2018 About 450,000 ethnic Koreans live in Japan, including third- and fourth-generation descendants of those laborers. Yuri Kageyama, Fox News, "North Korean defectors sue in Japan, alleging rights abuses," 24 Aug. 2018 The students comprised most of the laborers on Mazar's most recent dig, which was also fully funded by the foundation. Maayan Jaffe-hoffman, Jewish Journal, "The untold story of Americans unearthing Israeli archaeology," 21 June 2018 The 15 miners who are missing in this latest incident are laborers from Meghalaya and the neighboring state of Assam, mostly aged in their late 20s, according to local police. Krishna Pokharel, WSJ, "Divers Start Hunt for 15 Missing in Indian ‘Rathole’ Mine, Weeks After It Flooded," 30 Dec. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for laborer

Last Updated

7 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for laborer

The first known use of laborer was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for laborer



English Language Learners Definition of laborer

: a person who does hard physical work for money


la·​bor·​er | \ ˈlā-bər-ər How to pronounce laborer (audio) \

Kids Definition of laborer

: a person who does physical work for pay a farm laborer

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More from Merriam-Webster on laborer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with laborer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for laborer

Spanish Central: Translation of laborer

Nglish: Translation of laborer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laborer for Arabic Speakers

Comments on laborer

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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