labor 1 of 2

as in job
a dull, unpleasant, or difficult piece of work one of the labors of Hercules in classical mythology was to clean out the stables of King Augeas

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms



2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

How does the noun labor contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of labor are drudgery, grind, toil, travail, and work. While all these words mean "activity involving effort or exertion," labor applies to physical or intellectual work involving great and often strenuous exertion.

farmers demanding fair compensation for their labor

Where would drudgery be a reasonable alternative to labor?

The words drudgery and labor can be used in similar contexts, but drudgery suggests dull and irksome labor.

an editorial job with a good deal of drudgery

When is it sensible to use grind instead of labor?

The words grind and labor are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, grind implies labor exhausting to mind or body.

the grind of the assembly line

When might toil be a better fit than labor?

The synonyms toil and labor are sometimes interchangeable, but toil implies prolonged and fatiguing labor.

his lot would be years of back-breaking toil

When could travail be used to replace labor?

While in some cases nearly identical to labor, travail is bookish for labor involving pain or suffering.

years of travail were lost when the house burned

When would work be a good substitute for labor?

Although the words work and labor have much in common, work may imply activity of body, of mind, of a machine, or of a natural force.

too tired to do any work

Thesaurus Entries Near labor

Cite this Entry

“Labor.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

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