la·​bo·​ri·​ous | \ lə-ˈbȯr-ē-əs How to pronounce laborious (audio) \

Definition of laborious

1a : 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
b : 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
2 : devoted to labor : industrious We have the greatest riches, the greatest fertility, … the most laborious population.— Joseph Conrad

Other Words from laborious

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 The laborious process of building and testing new hardware would take a 2024 launch off the table, Vago says, but a 2026 or 2028 liftoff could be a possibility. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, 19 May 2022 Recruiting from the transfer portal is more akin to speed dating than the exhaustive, laborious process of wooing high school players, which often drags over two or three (or more) years. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 May 2022 The language might be laborious or overwrought, while the narrative and vision are thrilling. New York Times, 7 Apr. 2022 Gomez and his crew don’t press the masa by hand, a process too laborious for a busy restaurant. Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2022 The effort to reform the Chicago Police Department was never supposed to happen quickly, with experts seeing the potential for a nearly decadelong, laborious process for a court to call it complete. Annie Sweeney,, 17 Apr. 2022 When asked why the state paid $500,000 for an AI tool to find the inefficiencies rather than having state agency employees do it, Husted said state workers shouldn’t have the free time needed to take on such a laborious task. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 14 Dec. 2021 Not long before that, Citrin had gone through the laborious task of renewing his lease, a process that took a year-and-a-half. Andy Wang, Robb Report, 6 Oct. 2021 Sullivan attributes the reduction to a lot of laborious canopy management work in the vineyard. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 3 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'laborious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of laborious

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Laborious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for laborious


la·​bo·​ri·​ous | \ lə-ˈbȯr-ē-əs How to pronounce laborious (audio) \

Kids Definition of laborious

: requiring much effort Rebuilding was a slow and laborious task.

Other Words from laborious

laboriously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on laborious

Nglish: Translation of laborious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laborious for Arabic Speakers


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