Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Marked by or requiring long, hard work.
  • adjective Hard-working; industrious.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Requiring much labor, exertion, or perseverance; toilsome; not easy: as, laborious duties; a laborious undertaking.
  • Using exertion; practising labor; diligent in work or service; assiduous: as, a laborious husbandman or mechanic; a laborious minister or pastor.
  • Characterized by labor or effort; marked by or manifesting labor.
  • Synonyms Difficult arduous, wearisome, fatiguing, onerous.
  • Industrious, painstaking, active, hard-working.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Requiring labor, perseverance, or sacrifices; toilsome; tiresome.
  • adjective Devoted to labor; diligent; industrious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Requiring much physical effort; toilsome.
  • adjective Mentally difficult; painstaking
  • adjective Industrious.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion; especially physical effort

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French laborieux, from Latin labōriōsus, from labor, labor.]

Examples

  • For the most part it was a silent forest, lush and dank, where only occasionally a wood-pigeon cooed or snow - white cockatoos laughed harshly in laborious flight.

    Chapter 24

  • The unfortunate reputation that writing often bears as being boring and laborious is likely a result of people writing about uninteresting topics and doing so only out of necessity.

    Writer’s High – Are You Missing Out? | Write to Done

  • For the most part it was a silent forest, lush and dank, where only occasionally a wood-pigeon cooed or snow - white cockatoos laughed harshly in laborious flight.

    In the Bush

  • If woman be the weaker creature, why is she employed in laborious avocations? why compelled to endure the fatigue of household drudgery; to scrub, to scower, to labour, both late and early, while the powdered lacquey only waits at the chair, or behind the carriage of his employer?

    Letter to the Women of England, on the Injustice of Mental Subordination

  • If woman be the weaker creature, why is she employed in laborious avocations? why compelled to endure the fatigue of household drudgery; to scrub, to scower, to labour, both late and early, while the powdered lacquey only waits at the chair, or behind the carriage of his employer?

    Letter to the Women of England, on the Injustice of Mental Subordination

  • His veracity, that is, his laborious accuracy, is admitted by the only persons competent to form an opinion, namely, independent investigators who have followed in his track; but what may be called the internal evidence of the case also supplies a strong proof of it.

    Obiter Dicta

  • The feathers of these gay little sylphs, most of them from the Southern States, are most brilliant, and are represented with what, were it [not] connected with so much spirit in the attitude, I would call a laborious degree of execution.

    The Journal of Sir Walter Scott From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford

  • In the future, visitors will theoretically be able to go to the site when the mood strikes, much as they visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. But for now and the next few years, accessing the Sept. 11 Memorial will entail a laborious process requiring the reservation of tickets ahead of time, and then, on the appointed date, wending through a downtown obstacle course involving two outdoor ticket screening points and a security checkpoint inside 90 West St.

    At 9/11 Site, Built-In Hurdles

  • His most stable job, obviously, was the one he had working as a rigger mechanic at the navy yard, and as I started to say, he did generally that kind of laborious work for quite a few years until the latter part of my stay at home, which was when I was about sixteen or seventeen years old.

    Oral History Interview with Harvey B. Gantt, January 6, 1986. Interview C-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)

  • Gervase, speaking of one of these species, says: -- "If anything should be to be carried on in the house, or any kind of laborious work to be done, they join themselves to the work, and expedite it with more than human facility."

    Welsh Folk-Lore a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales

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  • "Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it, our lives are miserable, laborious and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty. No animal in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in England is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth."

    - George Orwell, 'Animal Farm'.

    November 24, 2008