A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Labour (verb active)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1161

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1161

To Lábour. v.a.

  1. To work at; to move with difficulty; to form with labour; to prosecute with effect.

    To use brevity, and avoid much labouring of the work, is to be granted to him that will make an abridgment. 2. Mac.

    The matter of the ceremonies had wrought, for the most part, only upon light-headed, weak men, whose satisfaction was not to be laboured for. Clarendon.

    The pains of famish'd Tantalus shall feel,
    And Sisyphus that labours up the hill,
    The rowling rock in vain, and curst Ixion's wheel.

            Had you requir'd my helpful hand,
    Th' artificer and art you might command,
    To labour arms for Troy.
    Dryden's Æneis.

    An eager desire to know something concerning him, has occasioned mankind to labour the point under these disadvantages, and turn on all hands to see if there were any thing left which might have the least appearance of information. Pope's Essay on Homer.

  2. To beat; to belabour.

    Take, shepherd, take a plant of stubborn oak,
    And labour him with many a sturdy stroak.
    Dryden's Virg.

Sources: The Bible - 2. Maccabees (14) · Clarendon, Edward (73) · Dryden, John (788) · Pope, Alexander (393)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Labour (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: July 15, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/labour-verb-active/.

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