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

Chinese contract laborers, Mexican Americans, Irish immigrants and recently emancipated African Americans. Peter Cole, Time, "Beyond Labor Day: 3 Ways Unions Have Helped American Workers," 30 Aug. 2019 Among positions harder to fill than a year ago were millwrights, carpenters, pipefitters and welders, laborers, truck drivers, pipelayers, iron workers, painters, concrete workers, heavy equipment operators and mechanics. William Thornton |, al, "Alabama contractors having trouble filling skilled positions," 27 Aug. 2019 The top five include: taxi drivers and chauffers (thanks to Uber and Lyft), construction laborers, industrial engineers (including health and safety), couriers and messengers, and veterinarians. Halley Bondy, NBC News, "In the know: Women in the news 8/19-8/23," 23 Aug. 2019 The millions who became laborers, doctors, locksmiths, seamstresses, teachers. Marianne Szegedy-maszak, Washington Post, "Horrors of World War II, through children’s eyes," 16 Aug. 2019 The demonetization led to severe misery for a majority of the Indian population, wage laborers, and small traders who conduct their business largely in cash. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, "India’s Looming Ethno-Nationalist Catastrophe," 7 Aug. 2019 California developed its heat standards in 2005, after 10 laborers, including four farmworkers, died from excessive heat exposure in a matter of months. Kaiser Health News,, "Rules lag in keeping workers safe from heat-related illness, death," 21 July 2019 While most Africans were unfree laborers, some exercised liberties that later would be unthinkable. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 Like several that had come before it, the ALP sought to establish a viable third party made up of union laborers from across the country, similar to Britain’s Labour Party. Kyle Sammin, National Review, "A Socialist Predecessor of Ocasio-Cortez in Congress," 13 Aug. 2019

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

5 Sep 2019

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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

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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