verb (used with object)

  1. to explain, worry about, or work at (something) repeatedly or more than is necessary: He kept belaboring the point long after we had agreed.
  2. to assail persistently, as with scorn or ridicule: a book that belabors the provincialism of his contemporaries.
  3. to beat vigorously; ply with heavy blows.
  4. Obsolete. to labor at.

verb (tr)

  1. to beat severely; thrash
  2. to attack verbally; criticize harshly
  3. an obsolete word for labour

chiefly British English spelling of belabor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or.


1590s, “to exert one’s strength upon,” from be- + labor (v.). But figurative sense of “assail with words” is attested somewhat earlier (1590s); and belabored is attested from mid-15c. with a sense of “tilled, cultivated.”

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