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
Some University of Pennsylvania alumni still recall the travails of being the first in their families to graduate from college.
Having observed, firsthand, the travails of off-schedule designers, many of whom were friends, Walker decided to do something to help.
Ross’ travails Terrence Ross endured a rough ending to the game in Memphis.
Poignant interactions with other kids, your frustration with curricular requirements, the developmental travails of prepubescence.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show’’ and its 1970s travails of a spunky TV news producer.
At the book’s core are diary entries describing his travails in designing such plans for London, Dubai and, especially, Moscow.
Both Snap and Blue Apron have come to market with dual-tier share structures, but their travails owe more to the inflating of expectations and ignoring of competition ahead of their respective offerings.
In the coming months, Ars will launch its own ambitious series to commemorate the Apollo program, from its successes and travails, to a legacy that reverberates even today in the spaceflight community.
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
Seen and Heard
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