- work ► NOUN 1) activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result. 2) such activity as a means of earning income. 3) a task or tasks to be undertaken. 4) a thing or things done or made; the result of an action. 5) (works) (treated as sing. ) chiefly Brit. a place where industrial or manufacturing processes are carried out. 6) (works) chiefly Brit. operations of building or repair. 7) Military a defensive structure. 8) (works) the mechanism of a clock or other machine. 9) Physics the exertion of force overcoming resistance or producing molecular change. 10) (the works) informal everything needed, desired, or expected.► VERB (past and past part. worked or archaic wrought) 1) do work, especially as one's job. 2) set to or keep at work. 3) (of a machine or system) function, especially properly or effectively. 4) (of a machine) be in operation. 5) have or bring about the desired result: her plan worked admirably. 6) bring (a material or mixture) to a desired shape or consistency. 7) produce (an article or design) using a specified material or sewing stitch. 8) cultivate (land) or extract materials from (a mine or quarry). 9) move gradually or with difficulty into another position. 10) (of a person's features) move violently or convulsively. 11) bring into a specified emotional state.● get worked up — Cf. ↑get worked up● have one's work cut out — Cf. ↑have one's work cut out● in the works — Cf. ↑in the works● work in — Cf. ↑work in● work off — Cf. ↑work off● work on/upon — Cf. ↑work upon● work out — Cf. ↑work out● work out at — Cf. ↑work out at● work over — Cf. ↑work over● work one's passage — Cf. ↑work one's passage● work to rule — Cf. ↑work to rule● work up to — Cf. ↑work up to● work up — Cf. ↑work upDERIVATIVES workless adjective.ORIGIN Old English.
English terms dictionary. 2015.