work force

or work·force


the total number of workers in a specific undertaking: a holiday for the company's work force.
the total number of persons employed or employable: a sharp increase in the nation's work force.

Origin of work force

First recorded in 1940–45
Also called labor force. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for workforce

personnel, crew, manpower, proletariat

Examples from the Web for workforce

Contemporary Examples of workforce

Historical Examples of workforce

  • Officially, in excess of one third of the workforce is unemployed.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • Schools used to be able to prepare students to find their place in the workforce even before graduation.

  • A complex system of incentives and disincentives drives the workforce to dedication and industriousness.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

British Dictionary definitions for workforce



the total number of workers employed by a company on a specific job, project, etc
the total number of people who could be employedthe country's workforce is growing rapidly
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 workforce

1961, from work (n.) + force (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper