travail was our Word of the Day on 04/08/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of travail in a Sentence
They finally succeeded after many months of travail.
no greater travail than that of parents who have suffered the death of a child
Recent Examples of travail from the Web
Warnings about the toils and travails that come hand in hand with Champions League participation were dismissed.
The question for a documentarian, afforded many, many hours of relatively unguarded access to a chef’s travails, becomes this: How to shape the footage in light of the ending, or what happens after the end?
The travails of the white working class are symptoms of a bigger problem: the concentration of wealth in a narrow range of industries and companies.
While this may seem an odd time to begin turning cartwheels over an embarrassment of sporting riches with the Texans coming off a horrible season, at least their travails of late come with a gigantic asterisk.
McPhee also draws examples from his work with editors to indicate what writers encounter in their travails.
Now, the various statutory works councils—the delégués du personnel, the comité d’entreprise and the comité d’hygiène, de sécurité et des conditions de travail—are to be merged into one, which will simplify union discussions.
Finding Neverland’s creative travails made for much Schadenfreude in the entertainment media.
Opening with a black-and-white sequence of the kidnapping in Rome, Scott’s movie continuously cuts to Paul’s travails as the prisoner of Calabrian bandits.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'travail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Etymologists are pretty certain that travail comes from trepalium, the Late Latin name of an instrument of torture. We don't know exactly what a trepalium looked like, but the word's history gives us an idea. Trepalium is derived from the Latin tripalis, which means "having three stakes" (from tri-, meaning "three," and palus, meaning "stake"). From trepalium sprang the Anglo-French verb travailler, which originally meant "to torment" but eventually acquired the milder senses "to trouble" and "to journey." The Anglo-French noun travail was borrowed into English in the 13th century, followed about a century later by travel, another descendant of travailler.
Origin and Etymology of travail
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonymsaffliction, agony, anguish, excruciation, hurt, misery, pain, rack, strait (s), torment, torture, distress, tribulation, woe
Related Wordsdiscomfort; cross, crucible, trial; heartache, heartbreak, joylessness, sadness, sorrow, unhappiness; emergency, pinch; asperity, difficulty, hardship, rigor; ache, pang, smarting, soreness, stitch, throe, twinge; danger, jeopardy, trouble
Near Antonymscomfort, consolation, solace; alleviation, assuagement, ease, relief; peace, security; well-being
Synonym Discussion of travail
- too tired to do any work
- farmers demanding fair compensation for their labor
- years of travail were lost when the house burned
- his lot would be years of back-breaking toil
- an editorial job with a good deal of drudgery
- the grind of the assembly line
Examples of travail in a Sentence
Labor Day is the day on which we recognize those men and women who daily travail with little appreciation or compensation.
First Known Use of travail
Synonymsbang away, beaver (away), dig (away), drudge, endeavor, fag, grub, hump, hustle, moil, peg (away), plod, plow, plug, slave, slog, strain, strive, struggle, sweat, toil, labor, tug, work
Related Wordsapply (oneself), buckle (down), dig in, hammer (away), knuckle down, pitch in; attack, drive; essay, try; exercise, exert, overexert, overwork; eke out, grind (out), put out, scrabble, scratch; trudge, wade
Near Antonymsbreak, ease (up), let up, slacken; bum, chill, dally, dillydally, footle, goldbrick, goof (off), hack (around), hang (around or out), idle, laze, loaf, lounge, shirk, slack (off), veg out; bask, loll, relax, repose, rest, unwind; dabble, doodle, fool around, fribble, goof (around), hang, hang about [British], mess around, monkey (around), play, potter (around), putter (around), trifle
TRAVAIL Defined for English Language Learners
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