Because today is Labor Day in the United States, the word "labor" is a good choice for the word of the day. Most people have today off. Labor Day is a workers’ holiday. In many countries around the world, May 1 (May Day) is the workers’ holiday. In the United States this holiday always falls on the first Monday in September.

The word "labor" basically just means "work." The sentences below show how it’s used as a noun:

  • Workers deserve a fair wage for their labor.
  • The total cost for the car repair is $280. That includes parts and labor.
  • Painting a house requires a lot of labor.
  • The labor for the construction project is almost finished.

Sometimes this word is used when a woman is having a baby.

  • Mary was in labor for six hours before giving birth to a baby girl.
  • It looks like she’s going into labor. Let’s get her to the hospital.
  • The woman experienced complications during labor, so the doctors performed a C-section.

These sentences use "labor" as a verb:

  • The workers labored through the night to get the work done.
  • Joe labors day and night to provide for his family.
  • The police have labored to make the neighborhood safer.

Sometimes you hear "labor" used as an adjective:

  • Labor costs went down in some parts of the United States because of the recession.


A person who does manual work is sometimes referred to as a laborer.

Note: In British English, this word is spelled labour.

Click here to learn more words.

September 1, 2014