la·​bo·​ri·​ous lə-ˈbȯr-ē-əs How to pronounce laborious (audio)
: involving, requiring, or characterized by hard and sustained effort : arduous
Overland travel was not an adventurous communal leap, but a laborious, individual trek.Daniel J. Boorstin
Making a telescope mirror is a long and laborious process.David Devoss and Eric Sander
: characterized by long, detailed elaboration : tedious
Much of the middle of the book is a laborious account of the scouring of the ocean floor that led to the discovery of the Titanic.The Economist
: devoted to labor : industrious
We have the greatest riches, the greatest fertility, … the most laborious population.Joseph Conrad
laboriously adverb
laboriousness noun

Examples of laborious in a Sentence

a slow and laborious process the volunteers have been commendably laborious in their cleanup of the beach
Recent Examples on the Web Middle East experts note that the work became even more laborious after President Donald J. Trump left the White House. Kate Kelly, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2024 While the Extraordinary Visa remains popular, its strict requirements and laborious process also limit who can apply and who is accepted. Emma Burleigh, Fortune, 28 Mar. 2024 And hiring experts warn that companies using laborious assignments and hardball tactics in recruitment could be counterproductive, by deterring strong candidates and adding new biases to the process. Lauren Goode, WIRED, 4 Mar. 2024 But all shipments must go through a laborious process of loading onto trucks that travel to an Israeli inspection site, only to be unloaded and reloaded again to then join an ever-growing line of vehicles waiting to enter the Palestinian territory. Alex Horton, Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2024 The laborious roast, clearly, is off the table for midweek dinner. Christopher Kimball, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Jan. 2024 Amending the constitution is a laborious process and a rare event in France. Barbara Surk, Fortune Europe, 4 Mar. 2024 Creating these hats is a laborious process that requires special machinery from the 1930s and ’40s, which Thompson considers the golden age of his craft. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 3 Mar. 2024 The onboarding and offboarding process—also laborious and time-consuming—can be streamlined through automation as well. Douglas Murray, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'laborious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of laborious was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near laborious

Cite this Entry

“Laborious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


la·​bo·​ri·​ous lə-ˈbōr-ē-əs How to pronounce laborious (audio)
: devoted to work : industrious
: requiring hard effort
laboriously adverb
laboriousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on laborious

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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