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work

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verb work pronunciation in British English /wɜː(r)k/ 
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theywork
he/she/itworks
present participleworking
past tenseworked
past participleworked
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to spend time trying to achieve something, especially when this involves using a lot of effort

    I've been working in the garden all day.

    work on:

    Our thanks go to everybody who has worked on this project.

    work to do something:

    He worked tirelessly to improve safety conditions in the mines.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make someone work

      She always works us too hard.

    2. b.
      [intransitive] to produce a picture or create an object using a particular type of substance
      work in/with:

      He works in oils and acrylics, painting mostly landscapes.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to have a job, usually one that you are paid to do

    Dominic works part-time.

    work in:

    I hope to work in marketing when I'm older.

    work as:

    She worked as a journalist.

    work with:

    All our nursery nurses are qualified to work with children.

    work for:

    She works for a big law firm in the city.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to operate in a satisfactory way

    The new telephone system seems to be working perfectly.

    This pen doesn't work.

    My brain's not working very well today.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to succeed

    If this plan doesn't work, we'll think of something else.

    The strategy seems to be working.

    1. a.
      to have a particular effect or result

      The drug works by blocking the spread of the virus.

      Her dazzling performance worked its magic on the audience (=had a good effect on them).

      work for/against someone (=have a good/bad result):

      Criticizing your former employer works against you in an interview.

      work in someone's favour/work to someone's advantage (=be an advantage to someone):

      The exchange rate is currently working in the company's favour.

  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] to move gradually from one position to another

    The strap of one of her sandals had worked itself loose.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to put something into a different position or state

      She managed to work one hand free.

      work yourself into something:

      He was slowly working himself into a panic.

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any random process, such as a competition in which a name is drawn from a hat

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