work

n. & v.
—n.
1 the application of mental or physical effort to a purpose; the use of energy.
2 a a task to be undertaken. b the materials for this. c (prec. by the; foll. by of) a task occupying (no more than) a specified time (the work of a moment).
3 a thing done or made by work; the result of an action; an achievement; a thing made.
4 a person's employment or occupation etc., esp. as a means of earning income (looked for work; is out of work).
5 a a literary or musical composition. b (in pl.) all such by an author or composer etc.
6 actions or experiences of a specified kind (good work!; this is thirsty work).
7 a (in comb.) things or parts made of a specified material or with specified tools etc. (ironwork; needlework). b archaic needlework.
8 (in pl.) the operative part of a clock or machine.
9 Physics the exertion of force overcoming resistance or producing molecular change (convert heat into work).
10 (in pl.) colloq. all that is available; everything needed.
11 (in pl.) operations of building or repair (road works).
12 (in pl.; often treated as sing.) a place where manufacture is carried on.
13 (usu. in pl.) Theol. a meritorious act.
14 (usu. in pl. or in comb.) a defensive structure (earthworks).
15 (in comb.) a ornamentation of a specified kind (poker-work). b articles having this.
—v. (past and past part. worked or (esp. as adj.) wrought)
1 intr. (often foll. by at, on) do work; be engaged in bodily or mental activity.
2 intr. a be employed in certain work (works in industry; works as a secretary). b (foll. by with) be the workmate of (a person).
3 intr. (often foll. by for) make efforts; conduct a campaign (works for peace).
4 intr. (foll. by in) be a craftsman (in a material).
5 intr. operate or function, esp. effectively (how does this machine work?; your idea will not work).
6 intr. (of a part of a machine) run, revolve; go through regular motions.
7 tr. carry on, manage, or control (cannot work the machine).
8 tr. a put or keep in operation or at work; cause to toil (this mine is no longer worked; works the staff very hard). b cultivate (land).
9 tr. bring about; produce as a result (worked miracles).
10 tr. knead, hammer; bring to a desired shape or consistency.
11 tr. do, or make by, needlework etc.
12 tr. & intr. (cause to) progress or penetrate, or make (one's way), gradually or with difficulty in a specified way (worked our way through the crowd; worked the peg into the hole).
13 intr. (foll. by loose etc.) gradually become (loose etc.) by constant movement.
14 tr. artificially excite (worked themselves into a rage).
15 tr. solve (a sum) by mathematics.
16 tr. a purchase with one's labour instead of money (work one's passage). b obtain by labour the money for (one's way through university etc.).
17 intr. (foll. by on, upon) have influence.
18 intr. be in motion or agitated; cause agitation, ferment (his features worked violently; the yeast began to work).
19 intr. Naut. sail against the wind.
Phrases and idioms:
at work in action or engaged in work. give a person the works
1 colloq. give or tell a person everything.
2 colloq. treat a person harshly.
3 sl. kill a person. have one's work cut out be faced with a hard task. set to work begin or cause to begin operations. work away (or on) continue to work. work-basket (or -bag etc.) a basket or bag etc. containing sewing materials. work camp a camp at which community work is done esp. by young volunteers. work one's fingers to the bone see BONE. work in find a place for. work it colloq. bring it about; achieve a desired result. work of art a fine picture, poem, or building etc. work off get rid of by work or activity.
work out
1 solve (a sum) or find out (an amount) by calculation.
2 (foll. by at) be calculated (the total works out at 230).
3 give a definite result (this sum will not work out).
4 have a specified result (the plan worked out well).
5 provide for the details of (has worked out a scheme).
6 accomplish or attain with difficulty (work out one's salvation).
7 exhaust with work (the mine is worked out).
8 engage in physical exercise or training.
work over
1 examine thoroughly.
2 colloq. treat with violence. works council esp. Brit. a group of employees representing those employed in a works etc. in discussions with their employers. work-shy disinclined to work. works of supererogation see SUPEREROGATION. work study a system of assessing methods of working so as to achieve the maximum output and efficiency. work table a table for working at, esp. with a sewing-machine. work to rule (esp. as a form of industrial action) follow official working rules exactly in order to reduce output and efficiency. work-to-rule the act or an instance of working to rule.
work up
1 bring gradually to an efficient state.
2 (foll. by to) advance gradually to a climax.
3 elaborate or excite by degrees.
4 mingle (ingredients) into a whole.
5 learn (a subject) by study. work one's will (foll. by on, upon) archaic accomplish one's purpose on (a person or thing). work wonders see WONDER.
Derivatives:
workless adj.
Etymology: OE weorc etc. f. Gmc

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • work — [wʉrk] n. [ME werk < OE weorc, akin to Ger werk < IE base * werĝ , to do, act > Gr ergon (for * wergon), action, work, organon, tool, instrument] 1. physical or mental effort exerted to do or make something; purposeful activity; labor;… …   English World dictionary

  • Work — (w[^u]rk), n. [OE. work, werk, weorc, AS. weorc, worc; akin to OFries. werk, wirk, OS., D., & G. werk, OHG. werc, werah, Icel. & Sw. verk, Dan. v[ae]rk, Goth. gawa[ u]rki, Gr. e rgon, [digamma]e rgon, work, re zein to do, o rganon an instrument,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Work — may refer to: Human labor: Employment House work Labor (economics), measure of the work done by human beings Manual labor, physical work done by people Wage labor, in which a worker sells their labor and an employer buys it Work (project… …   Wikipedia

  • work — n 1 Work, labor, travail, toil, drudgery, grind are comparable when they mean effort or exertion directed to the accomplishment of an end, or an employment or activity which involves such expenditure of effort or exertion. Work is the most… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Work — (w[^u]rk), v. t. 1. To labor or operate upon; to give exertion and effort to; to prepare for use, or to utilize, by labor. [1913 Webster] He could have told them of two or three gold mines, and a silver mine, and given the reason why they forbare …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • work — ► NOUN 1) activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result. 2) such activity as a means of earning income. 3) a task or tasks to be undertaken. 4) a thing or things done or made; the result of an action. 5) (works)… …   English terms dictionary

  • Work — (w[^u]rk), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Worked} (w[^u]rkt), or {Wrought} (r[add]t); p. pr. & vb. n. {Working}.] [AS. wyrcean (imp. worthe, wrohte, p. p. geworht, gewroht); akin to OFries. werka, wirka, OS. wirkian, D. werken, G. wirken, Icel. verka,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • work — [n1] labor, chore assignment, attempt, commission, daily grind*, drudge, drudgery, effort, elbow grease*, endeavor, exertion, functioning, grind, grindstone*, industry, job, moil, muscle, obligation, pains*, performance, production, push, salt… …   New thesaurus

  • Work — Título Charlot, empapelador o Carlitos empapelador o Charlot trabaja Ficha técnica Dirección Charles Chaplin …   Wikipedia Español

  • Work It — «Work It» Sencillo de Nelly y Justin Timberlake del álbum Nellyville Formato Disco compacto Género(s) Rap Duración 4:22 …   Wikipedia Español

  • work it — informal phrase to arrange for something to happen I’ll try and work it so we can leave early today. Thesaurus: to make plans or arrangementssynonym Main entry: work * * * ˈwork it/things …   Useful english dictionary


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