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work - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
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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.
      Synonyms and related words
    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.
    1. a.
      [transitive] if you work a particular area or type of place, you go to that area or to those places as part of your job, for example to try and sell things or to perform there
      He worked the clubs long before TV made him famous.
  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.
    1. a.
      [transitive] to operate something such as a machine or piece of equipment
      I don’t know how to work this thing.
  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.
      Synonyms and related words
  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.
  6. 8
    [transitive] to prepare land and grow crops on it
    Synonyms and related words
  7. 9
    [transitive] maths American to solve a problem in mathematics by doing a calculation
    Synonyms and related words

phrases

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… a feeling of pleasure you get from spending time doing what you want and not worrying about what other people are doing or saying

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a temporary inability to think clearly or remember information

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