work
I. noun Etymology: Middle English werk, work, from Old English werc, weorc; akin to Old High German werc work, Greek ergon, Avestan varəzem activity Date: before 12th century 1. activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something: a. sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result b. the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood c. a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity 2. a. energy expended by natural phenomena b. the result of such energy <
sand dunes are the work of sea and wind
>
c. the transference of energy that is produced by the motion of the point of application of a force and is measured by multiplying the force and the displacement of its point of application in the line of action 3. a. something that results from a particular manner or method of working, operating, or devising <
careful police work
>
<
clever camera work
>
b. something that results from the use or fashioning of a particular material <
porcelain work
>
4. a. a fortified structure (as a fort, earthen barricade, or trench) b. plural structures in engineering (as docks, bridges, or embankments) or mining (as shafts or tunnels) 5. plural but singular or plural in construction a place where industrial labor is carried on ; plant, factory 6. plural the working or moving parts of a mechanism <
the works of a clock
>
7. a. something produced or accomplished by effort, exertion, or exercise of skill <
this book is the work of many hands
>
b. something produced by the exercise of creative talent or expenditure of creative effort ; artistic production <
an early work by a major writer
>
8. plural performance of moral or religious acts <
salvation by works
>
9. a. effective operation ; effect, result <
wait for time to do its healing work
>
b. manner of working ; workmanship, execution 10. the material or piece of material that is operated upon at any stage in the process of manufacture 11. plural a. everything possessed, available, or belonging <
the whole works, rod, reel, tackle box, went overboard
>
<
ordered pizza with the works
>
b. subjection to drastic treatment ; all possible abuse — usually used with get <
get the works
>
or give <
gave them the works
>
Synonyms: work, labor, travail, toil, drudgery, grind mean activity involving effort or exertion. work may imply activity of body, of mind, of a machine, or of a natural force <
too tired to do any work
>
. labor applies to physical or intellectual work involving great and often strenuous exertion <
farmers demanding fair compensation for their labor
>
. travail is bookish for labor involving pain or suffering <
years of travail were lost when the house burned
>
. toil implies prolonged and fatiguing labor <
his lot would be years of back-breaking toil
>
. drudgery suggests dull and irksome labor <
an editorial job with a good deal of drudgery
>
. grind implies labor exhausting to mind or body <
the grind of the assembly line
>
. Synonyms: work, employment, occupation, calling, pursuit, métier, business mean a specific sustained activity engaged in especially in earning one's living. work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not <
her work as a hospital volunteer
>
. employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer <
your employment with this firm is hereby terminated
>
. occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training <
his occupation as a trained auto mechanic
>
. calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession <
the ministry seemed my true calling
>
. pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest <
her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit
>
. métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted <
acting was my one and only métier
>
. business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs <
the business of managing a hotel
>
. II. adjective Date: 14th century 1. used for work <
a work elephant
>
2. suitable or styled for wear while working <
work clothes
>
3. involving or engaged in work <
a work gang
>
<
work hours
>
III. verb (worked or wrought; working) Etymology: Middle English werken, worken, from Old English wyrcan; akin to Old English weorc Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. to bring to pass ; effect <
work miracles
>
2. a. to fashion or create a useful or desired product by expending labor or exertion on ; forge, shape <
work flint into tools
>
b. to make or decorate with needlework; especially embroider 3. a. to prepare for use by stirring or kneading b. to bring into a desired form by a gradual process of cutting, hammering, scraping, pressing, or stretching <
work cold steel
>
4. to set or keep in motion, operation, or activity ; cause to operate or produce <
a pump worked by hand
>
<
work farmland
>
5. to solve (a problem) by reasoning or calculation — often used with out 6. a. to cause to toil or labor <
worked their horses nearly to death
>
b. to make use of ; exploit c. to control or guide the operation of <
switches are worked from a central tower
>
7. a. to carry on an operation or perform a job through, at, in, or along <
the salespeople worked both sides of the street
>
<
a sportscaster hired to work the game
>
b. to greet and talk with in a friendly way in order to ingratiate oneself or achieve a purpose <
politicians working the crowd
>
<
worked the room
>
8. to pay for or achieve with labor or service <
worked my way through college
>
<
worked my way up in the company
>
9. a. to get (oneself or an object) into or out of a condition or position by gradual stages b. contrive, arrange <
we can work it so that you can take your vacation
>
10. a. to practice trickery or cajolery on for some end <
worked the management for a free ticket
>
b. excite, provoke <
worked myself into a rage
>
intransitive verb 1. a. to exert oneself physically or mentally especially in sustained effort for a purpose or under compulsion or necessity b. to perform or carry through a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations <
worked all day over a hot stove
>
c. to perform work or fulfill duties regularly for wages or salary <
works in publishing
>
2. to function or operate according to plan or design <
hinges work better with oil
>
3. to exert an influence or tendency 4. to produce a desired effect or result ; succeed <
a plan that will work
>
5. a. to make way slowly and with difficulty ; move or progress laboriously <
worked up to the presidency
>
b. to sail to windward 6. to permit of being worked ; react in a specified way to being worked <
this wood works easily
>
7. a. to be in agitation or restless motion b. ferment 1 c. to move slightly in relation to another part d. to get into a specified condition by slow or imperceptible movements <
the knot worked loose
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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

  • Work — bezeichnet: Hubert Work (1860 1942), US amerikanischer Politiker Work (Lied), ein Lied von Kelly Rowland Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Work — Work, Edelleute bei den Tscherkessen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • work — /werrk/, n., adj., v., worked or (Archaic except for 35, 37, 40) wrought; working. n. 1. exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil. 2. something on which exertion or labor is expended; a task or undertaking: The… …   Universalium

  • Work — /werrk/, n. Henry Clay, 1832 84, U.S. songwriter. * * * I In economics and sociology, the activities and labour necessary for the survival of society. As early as 40,000 BC, hunters worked in groups to track and kill animals, while younger or… …   Universalium

  • work — 1) in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, any text whether published, unpublished, or carrying a disclaimer containing a name or other information bearing on nomenclature; an anonymous work is a published one where the name(s) of… …   Dictionary of ichthyology

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