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work out - definition and synonyms

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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.

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theywork out
he/she/itworks out
present participleworking out
past tenseworked out
past participleworked out
  1. 1
    [transitive] to solve a problem by doing a calculation

    I was born in 1947: you work out my age.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to be successful, or to end in a particular way

    If it doesn’t work out, you can always come back here.

    Things worked out pretty well in the end.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to find a satisfactory way of doing something

    An international peace plan has been worked out.

    1. a.
      to decide or agree on something

      The exact details of the event haven’t been worked out yet.

      We haven’t worked out a date for the meeting.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to add up to a particular amount
    work out at:

    The mortgage works out at about £360 a month.

    1. a.
      used for saying what the actual cost or value of something is when you calculate it

      Taking the train works out more expensive than going by car.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to do physical exercise as a way of keeping fit

    He works out at the local gym every day.

  6. 6
    [transitive] to understand someone or something

    I can’t work him out.

See also main entry: work
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