Meaningn 1: activity directed toward making or doing something; "she
checked several points needing further work"
2: a product produced or accomplished through the effort or
activity or agency of a person or thing; "it is not
regarded as one of his more memorable works"; "the
symphony was hailed as an ingenious work"; "he was
indebted to the pioneering work of John Dewey"; "the work
of an active imagination"; "erosion is the work of wind or
water over time" [syn: piece of work]
3: the occupation for which you are paid; "he is looking for
employment"; "a lot of people are out of work" [syn: employment]
4: applying the mind to learning and understanding a subject
(especially by reading); "mastering a second language
requires a lot of work"; "no schools offer graduate study
in interior design" [syn: study]
5: the total output of a writer or artist (or a substantial
part of it); "he studied the entire Wagnerian oeuvre";
"Picasso's work can be divided into periods" [syn: oeuvre,
body of work]
6: a place where work is done; "he arrived at work early today"
7: (physics) a manifestation of energy; the transfer of energy
from one physical system to another expressed as the
product of a force and the distance through which it moves
a body in the direction of that force; "work equals force
v 1: exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose
or out of necessity; "I will work hard to improve my
grades"; "she worked hard for better living conditions
for the poor" [ant: idle]
2: be employed; "Is your husband working again?"; "My wife
never worked"; "Do you want to work after the age of 60?";
"She never did any work because she inherited a lot of
money"; "She works as a waitress to put herself through
college" [syn: do work]
3: have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or
expected; "The voting process doesn't work as well as
people thought"; "How does your idea work in practice?";
"This method doesn't work"; "The breaks of my new car act
quickly"; "The medicine works only if you take it with a
lot of water" [syn: act]
4: perform as expected when applied; "The washing machine won't
go unless it's plugged in"; "Does this old car still run
well?"; "This old radio doesn't work anymore" [syn: function,
operate, go, run] [ant: malfunction]
5: shape, form, or improve a material; "work stone into tools";
"process iron"; "work the metal" [syn: work on, process]
6: give a work-out to; "Some parents exercise their infants";
"My personal trainer works me hard"; "work one's muscles"
[syn: exercise, work out]
7: proceed along a path; "work one's way through the crowd";
"make one's way into the forest" [syn: make]
8: operate in a certain place, area, or specialty; "She works
the night clubs"; "The salesman works the Midwest"; "This
artist works mostly in acrylics"
9: proceed towards a goal or along a path or through an
activity; "work your way through every problem or task";
"She was working on her second martini when the guests
arrived"; "Start from the bottom and work towards the top"
10: move in an agitated manner; "His fingers worked with
11: cause to happen or to occur as a consequence; "I cannot work
a miracle"; "wreak havoc"; "bring comments"; "play a
joke"; "The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken
area" [syn: bring, play, wreak, make for]
12: cause to work; "he is working his servants hard" [syn: put
13: prepare for crops; "Work the soil"; "cultivate the land"
[syn: cultivate, crop]
14: behave in a certain way when handled; "This dough does not
work easily"; "The soft metal works well"
15: have and exert influence or effect; "The artist's work
influenced the young painter"; "She worked on her friends
to support the political candidate" [syn: influence, act
16: operate in or through; "Work the phones"
17: cause to operate or function; "This pilot works the
controls"; "Can you work an electric drill?"
18: provoke or excite; "The rock musician worked the crowd of
young girls into a frenzy"
19: gratify and charm, usually in order to influence; "the
political candidate worked the crowds"
20: make something, usually for a specific function; "She molded
the riceballs carefully"; "Form cylinders from the
dough"; "shape a figure"; "Work the metal into a sword"
[syn: shape, form, mold, mould, forge]
21: move into or onto; "work the raisins into the dough"; "the
student worked a few jokes into his presentation"; "work
the body onto the flatbed truck"
22: make uniform; "knead dough"; "work the clay until it is
soft" [syn: knead]
23: use or manipulate to one's advantage; "He exploit the new
taxation system"; "She knows how to work the system"; "he
works his parents for sympathy" [syn: exploit]
24: find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand
the meaning of; "did you solve the problem?"; "Work out
your problems with the boss"; "this unpleasant situation
isn't going to work itself out"; "did you get it?"; "Did
you get my meaning?"; "He could not work the math
problem" [syn: solve, work out, figure out, puzzle
25: cause to undergo fermentation; "We ferment the grapes for a
very long time to achieve high alcohol content"; "The
vintner worked the wine in big oak vats" [syn: ferment]
26: go sour or spoil; "The milk has soured"; "The wine worked";
"The cream has turned--we have to throw it out" [syn: sour,
27: arrive at a certain condition through repeated motion; "The
stitches of the hem worked loose after she wore the skirt