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  1. work
  2. noun

    • 1. activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result:

      he was tired after a day's work in the fields
    • 2. mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment:

      I'm still looking for work
    • 3. the place where one is employed:

      I was returning home from work on a packed subway
    • 4. the period of time one spends in paid employment:

      he was going to the theatre after work
    • 5. a job:

      I decided to get a work
    • 6. a task or tasks to be undertaken:

      they made sure the work was progressing smoothly
      Synonym : tasks, jobs, duties, assignments, commissions, projects, chores
    • 7. the materials for a task:

      she frequently took work home with her
    • 8. activity involving construction or repair:

      extra costs caused by additional building works
    • 9. cosmetic plastic surgery:

      between you and me, I think he's had some work done
    • 10. good or moral deeds:

      the Clapham sect was concerned with works rather than with faith
    • 11. a thing or things done or made; the result of an action:

      her work hangs in all the main American collections the bombing had been the work of a German-based cell
    • 12. a literary or musical composition or other piece of art:

      a work of fiction
    • 13. the artistic production of a particular author, composer, or artist, regarded collectively:

      the works of Schubert fill several feet of shelf space
      Synonym : writings, oeuvre, canon, output
    • 14. a piece of embroidery, sewing, or knitting, typically made using a specified stitch or method.

    • 15. a place or premises in which industrial or manufacturing processes are carried out:

      he found a job in the locomotive works
      Synonym : factory, plant, manufacturing complex, mill, foundry, yard, industrial unit, business unit, workshop, shop
    • 16. the operative part of a clock or other machine:

      she could almost hear the tick of its works
      Synonym : mechanism, machinery, workings, working parts, parts, movement, action, innards, insides
    • 17. a defensive structure:

      just north of the fort were trenches and the freshly reconstructed patriot siege works
    • 18. the exertion of force overcoming resistance or producing molecular change.

    • 19. everything needed, desired, or expected:

      the heavens put on a show: sheet lightning, hailstones, the works
      Synonym : everything, the full treatment, everything but the kitchen sink, the lot, the whole shooting match, the whole (kit and) caboodle, the whole shebang, the whole nine yards, the full monty, the whole ball of wax


    • 1. be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result; do work:

      an engineer who was working on a design for a more efficient wing new contracts forcing employees to work longer hours
      Synonym : toil, labour, exert oneself, slave (away), plod away, work one's fingers to the bone, work like a Trojan/dog, work day and night, keep at it, keep one's nose to the grindstone, slog (away), beaver away, plug away, peg away, put one's back into something, work one's guts out, work one's socks off, knock oneself out, sweat blood, kill oneself, graft, fag, bullock, work one's balls/arse off, work one's ass/butt off, drudge, travail, moil
    • 2. be employed in a specified occupation or field:

      he worked as a waiter in a rather shabby restaurant
      Synonym : be employed, have a job, earn one's living, hold down a job, do business, follow/ply one's trade
    • 3. set to or keep at work:

      Jane is working you too hard
    • 4. practise one's occupation in or at (a particular place):

      I worked a few clubs and so forth
    • 5. be engaged in (a particular occupation):

      I worked fireman on ships
    • 6. (of a machine or system) function, especially properly or effectively:

      his phone doesn't work unless he goes to a high point
      Synonym : function, go, run, operate, perform, be in working order, behave
    • 7. (with reference to a machine or machine part) be or cause to be in operation:

      the device is designed to go into a special ‘rest’ state when it's not working teaching customers how to work a VCR
    • 8. (of a plan or method) have the desired result or effect:

      the desperate ploy had worked
      Synonym : succeed, be successful, work out, turn out well, go as planned, have the desired result, get results, be effective, take effect, be efficacious, come off, pay off, do the trick, do the business, turn the trick
    • 9. produce as a result:

      with a dash of blusher here and there, you can work miracles
      Synonym : bring about, accomplish, achieve, produce, do, perform, carry out, implement, execute, create, engender, contrive, effect
    • 10. make efforts to achieve something; campaign:

      they are dedicated to working for a better future for the generations to come
    • 11. arrange or contrive:

      the chairman was prepared to work it for Phillip if he was interested
    • 12. exert influence or persuasion on:

      she worked upon the sympathy of her associates
    • 13. use one's persuasive power to stir the emotions of:

      the born politician's art of working a crowd
      Synonym : stir (up), excite, drive, move, spur, rouse, fire, galvanize, whip up, inflame, incite, agitate
    • 14. bring (a material or mixture) to a desired shape or consistency by hammering, kneading, etc.:

      work the mixture into a paste with your hands
    • 15. produce artistic pieces using (a particular material or medium):

      he works in clay over a very strong frame
    • 16. produce (an article or design) using a specified material or sewing stitch:

      the castle itself is worked in tent stitch
    • 17. cultivate (land) or extract materials from (a mine or quarry):

      contracts and leases to work the mines
    • 18. move or cause to move gradually or with difficulty into another position:

      comb hair from tip to root, working out the knots at the end look for small parts that might work loose
    • 19. (of a person's features) move violently or convulsively:

      hair wild, mouth working furiously
      Synonym : twitch, quiver, twist, move spasmodically, convulse
    • 20. make progress to windward, with repeated tacking:

      trying to work to windward in light airs
    • 21. bring into a specified emotional state:

      Harold had worked himself into a minor rage
      Synonym : stir (up), excite, drive, move, spur, rouse, fire, galvanize, whip up, inflame, incite, agitate
  3. Variation

    • n.: noun: work, plural noun: works

    • v.: verb: work, 3rd person present: works, gerund or present participle: working, past tense: worked, past participle: worked