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out of work

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Unemployed; also, having no work to do. For example, He lost his job a year ago and has been out of work ever since, or They don't give her enough assignments—she's always out of work. Shakespeare used this expression in Henry V (1:2): “All out of work and cold for action.”

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

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