[ wurk-week ]
/ ˈwɜrkˌwik /
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the total number of regular working hours or days in a week.
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Origin of workweek

First recorded in 1920–25; work + week
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does workweek mean?

The workweek is the span of (often five) days that are not the weekend—the days when many people work.

The standard workweek is from Monday through Friday, with Saturday and Sunday being considered the weekend, though working schedules vary widely. Many full-time jobs consist of a 40-hour workweek (five eight-hour days). In this sense, the workweek consists of all the time spent working in a week.

The workweek can also be called the working week. A day of the workweek can be called a workday.

The word week can sometimes be used to refer to the workweek, as in I can’t wait for this week to be over so I can spend the weekend relaxing. (Otherwise, week most commonly refers to any period of seven consecutive days or to the seven-day period on the calendar that begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday).

Example: I’m usually too busy to do any of my hobbies during the workweek, but that’s how I spend my weekends. 

Where does workweek come from?

The first records of the word workweek come from around 1900.

Many workers associate the workweek with the 40 or so hours they have to work during the week, but the 40-hour workweek is a relatively new concept. In fact, some of the first recorded references to the term workweek discuss a 60-hour workweek consisting of six, 10-hour days—for children. And this was considered an improvement over previous working conditions.

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What are some synonyms for workweek?

  • working week
  • week (when week refers to the five-day period that is not the weekend)

What are some words that share a root or word element with workweek? 

What are some words that often get used in discussing workweek?

How is workweek used in real life?

The most common full-time workweek consists of 40 hours over five days, but workweeks vary widely in terms of their length and schedule.



Try using workweek!

True or False? 

The word week can sometimes be used as a synonym for workweek.

How to use workweek in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for workweek

/ (ˈwɜːkˌwiːk) /

US and Canadian the number of hours or days in a week actually or officially allocated to workAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): working week
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