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1. Work, especially when arduous or involving painful effort; toil. See Synonyms at work.
2. Tribulation or agony; anguish.
3. The labor of childbirth.
intr.v. tra·vailed, tra·vail·ing, tra·vails
1. To work strenuously; toil.
2. To be in the labor of childbirth.
[Middle English, from Old French, from travailler, to work hard, from Vulgar Latin *tripāliāre, to torture with a tripalium, from Late Latin tripālium, instrument of torture, probably from Latin tripālis, having three stakes : tri-, tri- + pālus, stake; see pag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
1. painful or excessive labour or exertion
2. (Gynaecology & Obstetrics) the pangs of childbirth; labour
(Gynaecology & Obstetrics) (intr) to suffer or labour painfully, esp in childbirth
[C13: from Old French travaillier, from Vulgar Latin tripaliāre (unattested) to torture, from Late Latin trepālium instrument of torture, from Latin tripālis having three stakes, from trēs three + pālus stake]
tra•vail(trəˈveɪl, ˈtræv eɪl)
1. painfully difficult or burdensome work; toil.
2. pain, anguish, or suffering resulting from mental or physical hardship.
3. the pain of childbirth; labor.v.i.
4. to toil or exert oneself.
5. to suffer the pangs of childbirth; be in labor.
Past participle: travailed
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||travail - concluding state of pregnancy; from the onset of contractions to the birth of a child; "she was in labor for six hours"|
uterine contraction - a rhythmic tightening in labor of the upper uterine musculature that contracts the size of the uterus and pushes the fetus toward the birth canal
effacement - shortening of the uterine cervix and thinning of its walls as it is dilated during labor
maternity, pregnancy, gestation - the state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth when a woman carries a developing fetus in her uterus
|2.||travail - use of physical or mental energy; hard work; "he got an A for effort"; "they managed only with great exertion"|
toil, labor, labour - productive work (especially physical work done for wages); "his labor did not require a great deal of skill"
struggle - strenuous effort; "the struggle to get through the crowd exhausted her"
difficulty, trouble - an effort that is inconvenient; "I went to a lot of trouble"; "he won without any trouble"; "had difficulty walking"; "finished the test only with great difficulty"
exercise, exercising, physical exercise, physical exertion, workout - the activity of exerting your muscles in various ways to keep fit; "the doctor recommended regular exercise"; "he did some exercising"; "the physical exertion required by his work kept him fit"
pull - a sustained effort; "it was a long pull but we made it"
overkill - any effort that seems to go farther than would be necessary to achieve its goal
supererogation - an effort above and beyond the call of duty
overexertion - excessive exertion; so much exertion that discomfort or injury results
|Verb||1.||travail - work hard; "She was digging away at her math homework"; "Lexicographers drudge all day long"|
1. Physical exertion that is usually difficult and exhausting:
Chiefly British: fag.
Idiom: sweat of one's brow.
usu pl (= toils) → Mühen pl; after all the travails of Watergate → nach den schweren Belastungen durch die Watergate-Affäre
(old: = childbirth) → (Geburts)wehen pl