Idioms

Origin of work

before 900; (noun) Middle English worke, Old English worc, replacing Middle English werk(e), Old English weorc, cognate with Old Frisian, Old Saxon werk, Old High German werah, werc (German Werk), Old Norse verk, Greek érgon; (v.) Middle English worken, derivative of the noun, replacing Middle English wyrchen, Old English wyrcean; cognate with German wirken, Old Norse verkja, Gothic waurkjan

SYNONYMS FOR work

1 Work, drudgery, labor, toil refer to exertion of body or mind in performing or accomplishing something. Work is the general word and may apply to exertion that is either easy or hard: fun work; heavy work. Drudgery suggests continuous, dreary, and dispiriting work, especially of a menial or servile kind: the drudgery of household tasks. Labor particularly denotes hard manual work: labor on a farm, in a steel mill. Toil suggests wearying or exhausting labor: toil that breaks down the worker's health.
5 enterprise, project, job, responsibility.
2 industry, occupation, business.
3 job, trade, calling, vocation, profession.
7 product, achievement, feat.
16 toil, drudge.
28 operate, manipulate, handle.
29 accomplish, effect, produce, achieve.
34 finish, form, shape.
38 move.

ANTONYMS FOR work

Related forms

non·work, nounpre·work, verb, pre·worked or pre·wrought, pre·work·ing.pre·work, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for gum up the works

work

/ (wɜːk) /

noun

verb

Derived Forms

workless, adjectiveworklessness, noun

Word Origin for work

Old English weorc (n), wircan, wyrcan (vb); related to Old High German wurchen, German wirken, Old Norse yrkja, Gothic waurkjan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for gum up the works

work

[ wûrk ]

The transfer of energy from one object to another, especially in order to make the second object move in a certain direction. Work is equal to the amount of force multiplied by the distance over which it is applied. If a force of 10 newtons, for example, is applied over a distance of 3 meters, the work is equal to 30 newtons per meter, or 30 joules. The unit for measuring work is the same as that for energy in any system of units, since work is simply a transfer of energy. Compare energy power.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for gum up the works

work


In physics, the product of a force applied, and the distance through which that force acts.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with gum up the works

work


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

also see:

  • 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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.