work force

or work·force

See more synonyms for work force on
  1. the total number of workers in a specific undertaking: a holiday for the company's work force.
  2. 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. 2018

Related Words for workforce

personnel, workforce, 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


  1. the total number of workers employed by a company on a specific job, project, etc
  2. 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