Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

work - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun work pronunciation in American English /wɜrk/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [uncountable] a job that someone is paid to do

    I started work when I was sixteen.

    find work (=get a job):

    Many of the people facing downsizing believe they will never find work again.

    1. a.
      the things that you do as part of your job

      Her work will include planting trees and caring for animals.

      Employees may take work home if they wish.

    2. b.
      the time that someone spends doing their job

      We rehearse for a few hours every day after work.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] activity that involves physical or mental effort

    I know you’ve got a lot of work to do.

    Thank you for all your hard work.

  3. 3
    [uncountable] a place where someone goes to do their job

    I walk to work and take the bus home.

  4. 4
    [uncountable] something that someone makes or does in their job

    Carol and her subcommittee did some nice work on the document.

    piece of work:

    It’s not the best piece of work you’ve ever done.

    1. a.
      [countable/uncountable] something produced by a writer, painter, musician, or other artist

      Our final-year students invite you to an exhibition of their work.

      work of:

      This is a minor but moving work of literature.

      a study of the life and works of Baudelaire

  5. 5
    [uncountable plural] the repairing and building of something. You can also talk about works, and this has the same meaning

    There will be no disruption of traffic while the work is carried out.

  6. 6
    [uncountable] cosmetic surgery

    I think she’s had some work done.



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play