Synonyms & Antonyms of travail

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a state of great suffering of body or mind
  • no greater travail than that of parents who have suffered the death of a child

Synonyms for travail

Words Related to travail

Near Antonyms for travail

2 very hard or unpleasant work
  • these villagers now have decent housing, so our travail has not been in vain

Synonyms for travail

Words Related to travail

Near Antonyms for travail

Antonyms for travail

3 the act or process of giving birth to children
  • a midwife assisted her throughout her long travail

Synonyms for travail

Words Related to travail



Synonyms & Antonyms of travail (Entry 2 of 2)

to devote serious and sustained effort
  • Labor Day is the day on which we recognize those men and women who daily travail with little appreciation or compensation

Synonyms for travail

Words Related to travail

Phrases Synonymous with travail

Near Antonyms for travail

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About travail

How does the noun travail contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of travail are drudgery, grind, labor, toil, and work. While all these words mean "activity involving effort or exertion," travail is bookish for labor involving pain or suffering.

years of travail were lost when the house burned

In what contexts can drudgery take the place of travail?

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

an editorial job with a good deal of drudgery

When would grind be a good substitute for travail?

Although the words grind and travail have much in common, grind implies labor exhausting to mind or body.

the grind of the assembly line

When is it sensible to use labor instead of travail?

While in some cases nearly identical to travail, labor applies to physical or intellectual work involving great and often strenuous exertion.

farmers demanding fair compensation for their labor

When could toil be used to replace travail?

The meanings of toil and travail largely overlap; however, toil implies prolonged and fatiguing labor.

his lot would be years of back-breaking toil

When might work be a better fit than travail?

The words work and travail are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, work may imply activity of body, of mind, of a machine, or of a natural force.

too tired to do any work

Learn More About travail

Time Traveler for travail

Time Traveler

The first known use of travail was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century


Thesaurus Entries Near travail




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Travail.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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