travail (n.)

"labor, toil," mid-13c., from Old French travail "work, labor, toil, suffering or painful effort, trouble; arduous journey" (12c.), from travailler "to toil, labor," originally "to trouble, torture, torment," from Vulgar Latin *tripaliare "to torture," from *tripalium (in Late Latin trepalium) "instrument of torture," probably from Latin tripalis "having three stakes" (from tria "three;" see three + palus "stake" (from PIE *pakslo-, suffixed form of root *pag- "to fasten"), which sounds ominous, but the exact notion is obscure. The verb is recorded from late 13c. in English, from the verb in Old French.

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Definitions of travail from WordNet
travail (n.)
concluding state of pregnancy; from the onset of contractions to the birth of a child;
Synonyms: parturiency / labor / labour / confinement / lying-in / childbed
travail (n.)
use of physical or mental energy; hard work;
Synonyms: effort / elbow grease / exertion / sweat
travail (v.)
work hard;
Synonyms: labor / labour / toil / fag / grind / drudge / dig / moil