[ wurk-week ]


  1. the total number of regular working working hours or days in a week.


/ ˈwɜːkˌwiːk /


  1. the number of hours or days in a week actually or officially allocated to work Also called (in Britain and certain other countries)working week

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Word History and Origins

Origin of workweek1

First recorded in 1920–25; work + week

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Example Sentences

A recent experiment with shorter workweeks in Iceland was a big success and generated headlines around the world, and American companies like Kickstarter are now trying out the idea.

From Vox

A recent study of shorter workweeks in Iceland was a big success, boosting worker well-being and even productivity.

From Vox

If you’re curious, five out of seven days — a workweek — is 71 percent.

In a bid to increase the satisfaction of municipal government employees— many of whom commute from Copenhagen, roughly fifty miles away— the town reduced their workweek to Monday through Thursday in 2019.

From Time

First, another above-normal one seems likely to close the workweek tomorrow.

To begin with, this is the country that introduced a 35-hour workweek.

As Douthat notes, a workweek is benificial to society, just like regular Church attendance.

A normal workweek is necessary because it forces us into a routine.

Rank-and-file retail workers logged the shortest workweek since early 2010: just 30.1 hours, on average, vs. 30.4 in December.

In the beginning of October, official NHL employees were placed on a four-day workweek and given a 20 percent salary cut.

In 1973 the country was in the process of shifting from a forty-six-hour, six-day workweek to a 42.5-hour, five-day workweek.

The reduced workweek has also contributed to the absorption of those released from war service and war work.

The shorter workweek had been in effect on an experimental basis for about 17 percent of the industrial workers since 1968.


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More About Workweek

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.

Did you know ... ?

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.