1. work, as construction or repairs, done on a road.
  2. a conditioning exercise for an athlete consisting of running considerable distances in areas that are reasonably free of obstructions or traffic, as fields or country roads: performed chiefly by boxers in training for a bout.

Origin of roadwork

First recorded in 1885–90; road + work Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for roadworks


pl n
  1. repairs to a road or cable under a road, esp when forming a hazard or obstruction to traffic


  1. sports training by running along roads
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

Word Origin and History for roadworks



also road-work, 1765, "work done in making and repairing roads;" 1903 as "exercise done on roads;" from road (n.) + work (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper