or work·man·ly

[wurk-muh n-lahyk]


like or befitting a workman.
skillful; well executed: a workmanlike piece of writing.

Origin of workmanlike

First recorded in 1400–50, workmanlike is from the late Middle English word werkmanlike. See workman, -like
Related formsun·work·man·like, adjectiveun·work·man·ly, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for workmanlike

Contemporary Examples of workmanlike

Historical Examples of workmanlike

  • I saw his tiny fat arm rise and fall in a workmanlike manner.


    Joseph Conrad

  • He had a job to do, and he went at it in a workmanlike manner.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • But whoever had gone about the wrecking of the lab had gone about it in a workmanlike way.

    Damned If You Don't

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • The mixed mortar is then applied with a trowel in a workmanlike manner.

    Concrete Construction

    Halbert P. Gillette

  • As for his actual compositions, he had only the ambition to make them as workmanlike as he could.

    IT and Other Stories

    Gouverneur Morris

British Dictionary definitions for workmanlike


less commonly workmanly (ˈwɜːkmənlɪ)


appropriate to or befitting a good workman
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 workmanlike

"efficient, no-nonsense," 1739, from workman (see work (v.)) + -like.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper