- (used with a singular or plural verb) a place or establishment for manufacturing (often used in combination): ironworks.
- the working parts of a machine: the works of a watch.
- Theology. righteous deeds.
- everything; all related items or matters: a hamburger with the works.
- harsh or cruel treatment: to give someone the works.
verb (used without object), worked or (Archaic) wrought; working.
verb (used with object), worked or ( Archaic except for 29, 31, 34 ) wrought; working.
- to bring or put in; add, merge, or blend: The tailor worked in the patch skillfully. Work the cream into the hands until it is completely absorbed.
- to arrange a time or employment for: The dentist was very busy, but said she would be able to work me in late in the afternoon. They worked him into the new operation.
- to lose or dispose of, as by exercise or labor: We decided to work off the effects of a heavy supper by walking for an hour.
- to pay or fulfill by working: He worked off his debt by doing odd jobs.
- to bring about by work, effort, or action.
- to solve, as a problem.
- to arrive at by or as by calculation.
- to pay (a debt) by working instead of paying money.
- to exhaust, as a mine.
- to issue in a result.
- to evolve; elaborate.
- to amount to (a total or specified figure); add up (to): The total works out to 176.
- to prove effective or successful: Their marriage just didn't work out.
- to practice, exercise, or train, especially in order to become proficient in an athletic sport: The boxers are working out at the gym tonight.
- to study or examine thoroughly: For my term paper I worked over 30 volumes of Roman history.
- Informal. to beat unsparingly, especially in order to obtain something or out of revenge: They threatened to work him over until he talked.
- to move or stir the feelings; excite.
- to prepare; elaborate: Work up some plans.
- to increase in efficiency or skill: He worked up his typing speed to 70 words a minute.
- working, as at one's job: He's at work on a new novel.
- in action or operation: to see the machines at work.
- to arrange something: I'll try to work it so that we can all travel together.
- to show off one’s body or clothing to best effect, often through movement or posing: The models were working it on the runway. Work it on the dance floor, baby!
Origin of work
British Dictionary definitions for at work
- decoration or ornamentation, esp of a specified kind
- (in combination)wirework; woolwork
- at one's job or place of employment
- in action; operating
Word Origin for work
Science definitions for at work
Culture definitions for at work
Idioms and Phrases with at work (1 of 2)
Engaged in a job or other activity, as in The contractor is hard at work on the new building, or The little boy was fascinated to see the washing machine at work. [Early 1600s]
At one's office or other place of business, as in Is it all right if I telephone you at work? [Late 1800s]
Idioms and Phrases with at work (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with work
- work both sides of the street
- worked up, be
- work in
- work it
- work like a beaver
- work like a charm
- work off
- work on
- work one's fingers to the bone
- work one's way
- work out
- work over
- work up
- work wonders
- all in a day's work
- all work and no play
- at work
- busy work
- dirty work
- get down to (work)
- good works
- gum up (the works)
- have one's work cut out
- in the works
- make short work of
- many hands make light work
- out of work
- shoot the works
- the works
- turn (work) out all right