Definition of work
What does the word work mean?
part of speech: noun
Expenditure of energy, striving, application of effort to some purpose, (set to w., begin or make begin operations; has got to, is at, w. at last; all w. & no play; never does a stroke of w.; never liked, will do no, w.), (Physics) exertion of force in overcoming resistance or producing molecular change (convert heat into w.; unit of w., lifting would of 1lb. for 1ft; internal w., exerted on molecules of a body); task (to be) undertaken, materials (to be) used in task, (the w. of converting the heathen; have one\'s w. cut out for one, no light task, as much as one can do; bring your w. downstairs, i.e. sewing-materials, lesson-books, &c.); thing done, achievement, thing made, book or piece of literary or musical composition, literary or other product of, specimen of, (Theol., usu. in pl.) meritorious act as opposed to faith or grace, (mighty ww., miracles; a good day\'s w., much accomplished; the ww. of God, nature; honest man the noblest w. of God; the ww. of Cicero, his writings; a learned, historical, w., book; a w. of art, fine picture, building, poem, &c.; is the w. of the devil; ww. of mercy, charitable actions; covenant of ww., O.-T. dispensation; ww. of SUPEREROGATION); doings or experiences of specified kind (sharp, bloody, wild, w.; thirsty, dry, w.; make short w. of, quickly accomplish or get rid of or overcome); employment, esp. the opportunity of earning money by labour, laborious occupation, (is out of, is in regular, wants, is looking for, w.; many hands make light w.; do you want the w. or the wages?; rich men\'s luxury makes w. for the poor); (usu. in pl., & in comb. or with adj.) piece of fortification, structure for defence, (the ww. are impregnable; advanced, detached, defensive, ww. or w.; outworks, earthworks); (pl.) operations in building &c. (public ww., such operations done by or for the State; Board of Ww. & Public Buildings; CLERK of the ww.); (pl.) acting or operative part of machine (usu. of; the ww. of a watch &c.; something must be wrong with the ww.); (pl. often with sing. constr., usu. in comb. with attrib. n.) manufactory (the owner of an iron, a glass, -ww.; the ww. will be closed from 1st Oct.); (articles having) ornamentation of kind specified by adj. or by usu. hyphened attrib. n., things or parts made of material or with tools &c. so specified, (covered with elaborate w.; rustic, embossed, beaten, frosted, &c., w.; woodw., ironw., stonew.; fancy, needle, stucco, relief, poker, -w.); (Naut.) UPPER ww.; workaday, fit for or used or seen on workdays, ordinary, practical, (now chiefly in this workaday world); w.-bag, -basket, -box, holding materials& implements for w., esp. for sewing; workday, day other than Sunday or festival; workhouse, public institution for reception of paupers in parish or union of parishes; workman, operative, man hired to do manual labour, person good, bad, skilled, &c., at his job (an ill workman quarrels with his tools); workmanlike, characteristic of a good workman; workmanship, person\'s relative skill in doing task, relative finish or execution seen in manufactured article or w. of art, one\'s making (we are God\'s or of God\'s workmanship); w.-people, workmen or workwomen; w.-room, in which work is done; workshop, room or building in which manufacture is carried on; w.-table, with drawers for sewing-materials &c.; workwoman, female operative. Hence workless a. [old English]
part of speech: verb transitive, intransitive
(worked; also wrought pr. rawt archaic exc. as specified below). Engage or be engaged in bodily or mental w., carry on operations, make efforts, be a craftsman in some material, (men must w.; w. away or on, continue to w.; w. double TIDES; is working at Greek, history, social reform; works, worked or wrought, in brass, leather, oils, distemper; person is hard to w. with, impracticable; is working for, against, the cause); (of machine, plan, &c.) operate, act, do its appointed work, (of person) put or keep (machine &c.) in operation, keep (person, horse, machine, &c.) going or at w., exact toil from, (charm, drug, pump, scheme, works or will not w.; w. ship, type-writer; works his men &c. too hard, to death); (of wheel &c.) run, revolve, go through regular motions, (strap, handle, wheel, works on a wheel, pivot, axle; w. freely, stiffly, &c.); carry on, manage, control, (w. mine, scheme; works the coach from London to Brighton, has charge of it; my partner works the Liverpool district; is worked by wires, electricity, &c.); have influence or effect, exercise influence on, (often wrought; now let it w., leave it to produce its effect; w. upon person or his mind &c.; all these things have worked together for good; the appeal wrought powerfully upon him; w. the ORACLE); bring about, effect, accomplish, produce as result, (often wrought; w. wonders, cures, mischief, a change; w. one\'s will, accomplish one\'s purpose often upon person or thing; will w. it if I can slang, bring it about); be in motion, be agitated, cause agitation, ferment lit. & fig., (face, features, worked violently; waves w. to& fro; thoughts, conscience, working within him; yeast began to w.; to be wroth with one we love doth w. like madness in the brain); make way or make (way &c.) or cause to make way slowly or with difficulty or by shifting motions (usu. with adv. or prep.), gradually become (loose, free, tight, &c.) by motion, (stockings, shirt, w. down, up; needle worked out eventually from her arm; ferrule has worked off, loose; w. your knife through the card, your point in; grub works its way into or out of; wind has worked round; ship is working eastwards; some influences w. upwards, some downwards, in society; angler works up stream); knead, hammer, fashion, into shape or desired consistency (w. dough, clay, &c.; butter should be thoroughly worked; wrought iron, forged or rolled, not cast); artificially& gradually excite into (worked his audience, himself, into enthusiasm, a rage); do, make by, needlework or the like (reads to them while they w.; w. pattern, initials, &c., on linen &c.; is working a shawl); solve (sum) by mathematical processes; purchase (one\'s passage) with labour instead of money; w. in, find place for (illustration, subject, &c.), admit of being introduced; w. off, get rid of, get over, find customers &c. for, (works off his bad-temper on his servants; has worked off his debauch; w. off 3000 copies; works off old jokes on us); w. out, find (amount &c.) or solve (sum) by calculation, (of amount &c.) be calculated at (works out at £6 10s.), (of sum) give definite result (will not w. out), exhaust with w. (person, mine, &c., is quite worked out), accomplish or attain with difficulty (w. out one\'s salvation), provide for or plan all details of (has worked out a scheme of invasion); w. up, bring gradually to efficient state, elaborate in description (often wrought), advance gradually to (climax), excite (persons, expectations, &c.) by degrees (often wrought; his through- wip nerves; is in a highly wrought-up state, nervous, hysterical), mingle (materials) into whole, acquire familiarity with (subject) by study. [old English]