work, usually of little importance, created to keep a person from being idle or unemployed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use make-work in a sentence
He said he spent his time doing “Mickey Mouse make-work,” digging though old records for long-abandoned well sites.Two Texas Regulators Tried to Enforce the Rules. They Were Fired. | David Hasemyer, InsideClimate News | December 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Even in art school, teachers have to struggle to get fully dedicated students to make work that reads as something for our time.
Then dig into your coffers and cough up the required cash to make work more efficient and, yes, fun.
It seems as if everything on the place was devised to make work as hard, unhandy, and wrong-end-to as possible.'A California Girl | Edward Eldridge
The true way to make work for to-morrow is to do as much as one can to-day.Contemporary Socialism | John Rae
"Dear me, Miss Salome, pray don't make work like that," said Stevens.Salome | Emma Marshall
"Well, whoever it was managed to move about enough to make work for me to clear up," Mrs. Seaford said.Princess Polly At Play | Amy Brooks
The danger, however, is that the use of form letters tends to make work mechanical.Business English | Rose Buhlig
Cultural definitions for make-work
Publicly provided employment that is designed primarily to relieve unemployment and only incidentally to accomplish important tasks. If private employers are hiring few people because of a business slump, the government can “make work” for people to do.
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.