Quantcast
Welcome to the new LearnersDictionary.com. We want to hear your thoughts about the new design.

work

Save
1work/ˈwɚk/verb
worksworkedworking
1work
/ˈwɚk/
verb
worksworkedworking
Learner's definition of WORK  
: to have a job
[no object]
[+ object]
   b : to do things as part of your job
[no object]
[+ object]
   c [+ object] : to do work in, on, or at (an area, event, etc.)
[no object] : to do something that involves physical or mental effort
   b [+ object] : to force (someone or something) to do something that involves physical or mental effort
[+ object] : to use and control (something)
[no object] : to perform or operate in the correct way
[no object] 
: to have the intended effect or result
   b always followed by an adverb or preposition : to have a particular effect or result
[+ object] : to cause (something) to happen
: to move (something) into or out of a particular position slowly or with difficulty
[+ object]
[no object]
— see also work your way (below)
[+ object] : to bring (something) into a desired shape or form by cutting it, pressing it, etc.
[+ object] : to talk to and try to gain the friendship or support of (the people in a group)

work around

[phrasal verb]or chiefly Britishwork round
work around/round (something) : to organize things or proceed in a way that avoids (something, such as a problem)
work around/round to (something) : to start talking or writing about (a subject, issue, etc.) after talking or writing about other things

work at

[phrasal verb]
work at (something) 
: to make an effort to do (something) better

work in

[phrasal verb]
work (something) in or work in (something) 
: to add or include (something) in a conversation, essay, etc.
   b : to stir or mix (something) into something
work (someone or something) inUS : to make an amount of time available for (someone or something)

work into

[phrasal verb]
work (something) into (something) 
: to add or include (something) in (something)
   b : to stir or mix (something) into (something)
work (someone) into (something) : to gradually cause (someone) to be in (an excited, angry, or frightened state)

work it/things

informal
: to arrange your activities in a particular way so that it is possible for something to happen or be done

work off

[phrasal verb]
work off (something) or work (something) off 
: to pay (a debt) by working
: to lose or get rid of (something) by physical activity

work on

[phrasal verb]
work on (something) : to be in the process of making (something), doing (something), etc.
   b work on doing (something) : to make an effort to do (something)
work on (someone) : to try to influence or persuade (someone) to do something

work out

[phrasal verb]
: to perform athletic exercises in order to improve your health or physical fitness
: to happen, develop, or end in a desired or successful way
   b : to happen, develop, or end in a particular way or to have a particular result
work out (something) or work (something) out 
: to find or create (something, such as a solution or a plan) by thinking
   b : to use mathematics to solve (something)
work (someone) outBritish or work out (someone) : to understand the behavior of (someone)

work over

[phrasal verb]
work (someone) overinformal 
: to hurt (someone) by hitting, kicking, etc.

work through

[phrasal verb]
: to deal with (something that is difficult or unpleasant) successfully

work to

[phrasal verb]
work to (something)chiefly British 
: to work within the limits of (something)

work up

[phrasal verb]
work (someone) up : to make (someone) feel very angry, excited, upset, etc.
— see also worked up
work up (something) or work (something) up 
: to produce (something) by physical or mental effort
   b chiefly British : to improve your skill at (something) or increase your knowledge of (something)
   c chiefly British : to develop or expand (something)— usually + into
work up to (something) : to reach (something, such as a rate or level) by gradually increasing in speed, intensity, etc.

work wonders

— see 1wonder

work your fingers to the bone

— see 1finger

work your magic

— see 1magic

work your way

: to move yourself into or out of a particular position slowly or with difficulty
◊ If you work your way through college/school, you have a job that helps you pay for your expenses while you go to college/school.
— sometimes used figuratively
2work/ˈwɚk/noun
pluralworks
2work
/ˈwɚk/
noun
pluralworks
Learner's definition of WORK  
[noncount] 
: a job or activity that you do regularly especially in order to earn money
— see also life's worksocial work
   b : the place where you do your job
[noncount] 
: the things that you do especially as part of your job
   b : things (such as papers, files, etc.) that you use to do your job
[noncount] 
: physical or mental effort that is used to perform a job or achieve a goal
   b : the process or activity of working
◊ Phrases like good work, nice work, etc., are used to tell people that they have done something very well.
[noncount] : something that is produced or done by someone
   b : something (such as a book, song, or painting) that is produced by a writer, musician, artist, etc.
[noncount]
[count]
— see also artworkhandiworkhandwork
works [plural] : roads, bridges, dams, and similar structures: structures that are built by engineers
— see also public workswaterworks
works : a place where industrial labor is done: a factory
[singular]
[plural]
— see also gasworks
the works : the moving parts of a machine— sometimes used figuratively
the works informal : everything
[noncount]physics : the energy that is used when a force is applied over a given distance

at work

: actively doing work
   b : doing your regular job
: having an effect or influence

have your work cut out for you

◊ If you have your work cut out for you, the thing you need to do is very difficult, and you have to work very hard to achieve it.

in the works

informal
: in the process of being prepared, developed, or completed

in work

British
: having a regular job

make short/quick/light work of

: to make it possible for (something) to be done quickly or easily
◊ The expression many hands make light work means that people can do things more quickly and easily when they work together.
: to finish (something) or defeat (someone) quickly and easily

out of work

: without a regular job

put/throw a spanner in the works

— see spanner

throw a wrench into the works

— see 1wrench
— see also piece of work
3work/ˈwɚk/adjective
3work
/ˈwɚk/
adjective
Learner's definition of WORK  
always used before a noun
: suitable to be worn while you are working
: used for work
: of or relating to a person's job
Comments & Questions  
Comments & Questions
What made you want to look up work? Include any comments and questions you have about this word.