Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words 
primarily denotes "a striking, beating" (akin to kopto, "to strike, cut"); then, "toil resulting in weariness, laborious toil, trouble;" it is translated "labor" or "labors" in John 4:38; 1—Corinthians 3:8; 15:58; 2—Corinthians 6:5; 10:15; 11:23,27 , RV, "labor" (AV, "weariness"); 1—Thessalonians 1:3; 2:9; 3:5; 2—Thessalonians 3:8; (in some mss., Hebrews 6:10 ); Revelation 2:2 (RV "toil"); 14:13. In the following the noun is used as the object of the verb parecho, "to afford, give, cause," the phrase being rendered "to trouble," lit., "to cause toil or trouble," to embarass a person by giving occasion for anxiety, as some disciples did to the woman with the ointment, perturbing her spirit by their criticisms, Matthew 26:10; Mark 14:6; or by distracting attention or disturbing a person's rest, as the importunate friend did, Luke 11:7; 18:5; in Galatians 6:17 , "let no man trouble me," the Apostle refuses, in the form of a peremptory prohibition, to allow himself to be distracted further by the Judaizers, through their proclamation of a false gospel and by their malicious attacks upon himself.
denotes (a) "labors, toil," Colossians 4:13 , in the best mss. (some have zelos, "zeal," AV); (b) "the consequence of toil," viz., distress, suffering, pain, Revelation 16:10,11; 21:4 . See Pain.
Philippians 1:22 2—Corinthians 11:27 1—Thessalonians 2:9 2—Thessalonians 3:8
akin to A, No. 1, has the two different meanings (a) "growing weary," (b) "toiling;" it is sometimes translated "to bestow labor" (see under Bestow , No. 3). It is translated by the verb "to labor" in Matthew 11:28; John 4:38 (2nd part); Acts 20:35; Romans 16:12 (twice); 1—Corinthians 15:10; 16:16; Ephesians 4:28; Philippians 2:16; Colossians 1:29; 1—Thessalonians 5:12; 1—Timothy 4:10; 5:17; 2—Timothy 2:6; Revelation 2:3; 1—Corinthians 4:12 , RV, "toil" (AV, "labor"). See Toil.
from cheima, "winter cold," primarily, "to expose to winter cold," signifies "to drive with a storm;" in the Passive Voice, "to be driven with storm, to be tempest-tossed," Acts 27:18 , RV, "as (we) labored with the storm" (AV, "being ... tossed with a tempest").
"to contend along with a person" (sun, "with," athleo, "to contend"), is said in Philippians 4:3 of two women who "labored with" the Apostle in the Gospel; in Philippians 1:27 , RV, "striving (for)," marg., "with," AV, "striving together (for). See Strive.
John 6:27 1—Thessalonians 2:9 1—Thessalonians 4:11 Ephesians 4:28 1—Corinthians 16:10Commit. Hebrews 4:11 Colossians 4:12 2—Corinthians 5:9 Romans 15:20 1—Thessalonians 4:11
Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words 
‛Âmâl ( עָמָל , Strong'S #5999), “labor; toil; anguish; troublesome work; trouble; misery.” Cognates of this noun and the verb from which it is derived occur in Aramaic, Arabic, and Akkadian. The 55 occurrences of the noun are mostly in later poetic and prophetic literature (Gen. 41:51; Deut. 26:7; Judg. 10:16).
First, the word means “labor” in the sense of toil: “… The Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labor, and our oppression” (Deut. 26:7). In Isa. 53:11 ‛âmâl is used of the toilsome “labor” of the Messiah’s soul: “He shall see of the travail of his soul.…”
Second, something gained by toil or labor is ‛âmâl: "[He] gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labor of the people [i.e., of the land of Palestine]” (Ps. 105:44).
Third, ‛âmâl means “troublesome work”; the emphasis is on the difficulty involved in a task or work as troublesome and burdensome: “What profit hath a man of all his labor [troublesome labor] which he taketh under the sun?” (Eccl. 1:3). All 17 appearances of the word in Ecclesiastes bear this meaning.
Fourth, sometimes the emphasis shifts to the area of trouble so that an enterprise or situation is exclusively troublesome or unfortunate: “… For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house” (Gen. 41:51—the first occurrence). In Judg. 10:16 we read that God “was grieved for the misery of Israel.”
Fifth, ‛âmâl can have an ethical connotation and is used as a word for sin. The wicked man “travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood” (Ps. 7:14; cf. Job 4:8).
Another noun ‛âmel means “laborer, sufferer.” This word appears infrequently in biblical Hebrew. In Prov. 16:26 the word refers to “laborer”: “He that laboreth, laboreth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.” In Job 3:20 ‛âmel refers to a “sufferer”: “Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery.…”
‛Âmal ( עָמַל , Strong'S #5998), “to labor.” This verb occurs 11 times in biblical Hebrew and only in poetry. ‛Âmal appears several times in Ecclesiastes (2:11, 19, 21; 5:16. The verb is also found in Ps. 127:1: “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.…”
‛Âmal means “toiling.” This verb occurs only in a few instances in Ecclesiastes. One occurrence is in Eccl. 3:9: “What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth?”
Webster's Dictionary 
(1): ( v. t.) To work at; to work; to till; to cultivate by toil.
(2): ( n.) To pitch or roll heavily, as a ship in a turbulent sea.
(3): ( n.) To be in travail; to suffer the pangs of childbirth.
(4): ( n.) To be oppressed with difficulties or disease; to do one's work under conditions which make it especially hard, wearisome; to move slowly, as against opposition, or under a burden; to be burdened; - often with under, and formerly with of.
(5): ( n.) That which requires hard work for its accomplishment; that which demands effort.
(6): ( n.) Intellectual exertion; mental effort; as, the labor of compiling a history.
(7): ( n.) Physical toil or bodily exertion, especially when fatiguing, irksome, or unavoidable, in distinction from sportive exercise; hard, muscular effort directed to some useful end, as agriculture, manufactures, and like; servile toil; exertion; work.
(8): ( v. t.) To prosecute, or perfect, with effort; to urge stre/uously; as, to labor a point or argument.
(9): ( v. t.) To form or fabricate with toil, exertion, or care.
(10): ( n.) A store or set of stopes.
(11): ( n.) To exert muscular strength; to exert one's strength with painful effort, particularly in servile occupations; to work; to toil.
(12): ( v. t.) To belabor; to beat.
(13): ( n.) To exert one's powers of mind in the prosecution of any design; to strive; to take pains.
(14): ( n.) A measure of land in Mexico and Texas, equivalent to an area of 177/ acres.
(15): ( n.) The pitching or tossing of a vessel which results in the straining of timbers and rigging.
(16): ( n.) Any pang or distress.
(17): ( n.) Travail; the pangs and efforts of childbirth.
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(properly עָבִד , Abad', to Work, Gr. Ἐργάζομαι ; also עָמִל , Amal', to Toil, Gr. Κοπιάω ; and other terms). From Genesis ii, 15 (where the same word עָבִד is used, A. V. "till"), we learn that man, even in a state of innocence, and surrounded by all the external sources of happiness, was not to pass his time in indolent repose. By the very constitution of his animal frame, exercise of some kind was absolutely essential to him (comp. Ecclesiastes 5:12). In Genesis 3:19, labor, in its more rigorous and exhausting forms, is set forth as a part of the primeval curse, " In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread;" and doubtless there is a view of labor which exhibits it in reality as a heavy, sometimes a crushing burden (compare Genesis 35:16). But labor is by no means exclusively an evil, nor is its prosecution a dishonor (comp. Psalm 103:23, 24). It is the prostration of strength, wherewith is also connected the temporary incapacity of sharing in the enjoyments of life, and not labor itself, which constitutes the curse pronounced on the fallen man. Hence we find that, in primitive times, manual labor was neither regarded as degrading nor confined to a certain class of society, but was more or less prosecuted by all. By the institution of the Sabbath, moreover, one seventh of man's brief life was rescued from labor, and appropriated to rest of body and to that improvement of the mind which tends to strengthen, invigorate, and sustain the entire man. (See Sabbath).
Labor was enjoined on all Israelites as a sacred duty in the fourth commandment ( Exodus 20:9; Deuteronomy 5:13); and the Bible entertains so high a respect for the diligent and skilful laborer, that we are told in Proverbs 22:29," Seest thou a man skilled in his work, he shall stand before kings" (comp. also ibid, 10:4; 12:24,27). Among the beautiful features which grace an excellent housewife, it is prominently set forth that " she worketh willingly with her own hands" ( Proverbs 31:13). With such an honorable regard for labor, it is not to be wondered at that when Nebuchadnezzar carried the Jews away into captivity, he found among them a thousand craftsmen and smiths ( 2 Kings 24:14-16; Jeremiah 29:2). The ancient rabbins, too, regarded manual labor as most honorable, and urged it upon every one as a duty, as may be seen from the following sayings in the Talmud: "He who does not teach his son a craft is, as it were, bringing him up to robbery" (Cholin, 105); "Labor is greatly to be prized, for it elevates the laborer, and maintains him" (Chagiga, 5; Nedarim, 49, b; Baba Bathrc, 110, a). (See Handicraft).
The Hebrews, like other primitive nations, appear to have been herdsmen before they were agriculturists ( Genesis 4:2; Genesis 4:12; Genesis 4:17; Genesis 4:22); and the practice of keeping flocks and herds continued in high esteem and constant observance as a regular employment and a social condition ( Judges 1:16; Judges 4:11; Amos 7:14; Luke ii, 8). The culture of the soil came in course of time, introducing the discovery and exercise of the practical arts of life, which eventually led to those refinements, both as to processes and to applications, which precede, if they do not create, the fine arts ( Genesis 26:12; Genesis 33:19). Agriculture, indeed, became the chief employment of the Hebrew race after their settlement in Canaan; it lay at the very basis of the constitution. both civil and religious, which Moses gave them, was held in great honor, and was carried on by the high as well as the humble in position ( Judges 6:11; 1 Samuel 11:5; 1 Kings 19:19). No small care was bestowed on the culture of the vine, which grew luxuriously on the hills of Palestine ( Isaiah 5:2; Isaiah 5:5; Matthew 21:33; Numbers 13:24). The vintage was a season of jubilee ( Judges 9:27; Jeremiah 25:30; Isaiah 16:10). The hills of Palestine were also adorned with wellcultured olive-gardens, which produced fruit useful for food, for anointing, and for medicine ( Isaiah 17:6; Isaiah 24:13; Deuteronomy 24:20; Ezekiel 27:17; 1 Kings 4:25; Hosea 14:6-7). Attention was also given to the culture of the fig-tree ( 2 Kings 21:7; 1 Chronicles 27:28), as well as of the date-palm ( Leviticus 23:40; Judges 1:16; Judges 4:5; Judges 20:33; Deuteronomy 34:3), and also of balsam ( Genesis 43:11; Ezekiel 27:17; Ezekiel 37:25; Jeremiah 8:22). (See Agriculture).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
la´bẽr ( יגיע , yeghı̄a‛ , עמל , ‛amāl ; κόπος , kópos ): The word (noun and verb) denoting hard work or "toil" (thus in the Revised Version (British and American) of Deuteronomy 26:7; Joshua 7:3; Revelation 2:2 ) represents several Hebrew and Greek words, chiefly those above. Occasionally, as in Habakkuk 3:17 ( ma‛ăsēh ), it stands for "fruit of labor." Sometimes, in conjunction with "travail," it refers to childbirth ( Genesis 35:16 , Genesis 35:17 , yāladh ; compare 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8 ). Examples of the word in the ordinary sense are: of yeghı̄a‛ , Genesis 31:42; Job 39:11 , Job 39:16; Psalm 128:2; of ‛amāl , common in Ecclesiastes 1:3 , Ecclesiastes 1:8; Ecclesiastes 2:10 , Ecclesiastes 2:11 , Ecclesiastes 2:18 , etc.; of kopos , 1 Corinthians 15:58 ("your labor is not vain," etc.); 1 Thessalonians 1:3 ("work of faith and labor of love"; compare Hebrews 6:10 ); 1 Timothy 5:17 ("labor in the word and in teaching"). See Work; Slavery .
- Labor from Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words
- Labor from Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words
- Labor from Webster's Dictionary
- Labor from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Labor from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Labor from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia