Meaning of WORK in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ wɜ:(r)k ]

( works, working, worked)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


People who work have a job, usually one which they are paid to do.

Weiner works for the US Department of Transport...

I started working in a recording studio...

Where do you work?...

He worked as a bricklayer’s mate...

I want to work, I don’t want to be on welfare.

VERB : V prep / adv , V prep / adv , V prep / adv , V as n , V


People who have work or who are in work have a job, usually one which they are paid to do.

Fewer and fewer people are in work...

I was out of work at the time...

She’d have enough money to provide for her children until she could find work...

N-UNCOUNT : oft in/out of N


When you work , you do the things that you are paid or required to do in your job.

I can’t talk to you right now–I’m working...

He was working at his desk...

Some firms expect the guards to work twelve hours a day.

VERB : V , V , V n


Your work consists of the things you are paid or required to do in your job.

We’re supposed to be running a business here. I’ve got work to do...

I used to take work home, but I don’t do it any more...

There have been days when I have finished work at 2pm.



When you work , you spend time and effort doing a task that needs to be done or trying to achieve something.

Linda spends all her time working on the garden...

The most important reason for coming to university is to work for a degree...

The government expressed hope that all the sides will work towards a political solution.

VERB : V prep , V prep , V prep

Work is also a noun.

There was a lot of work to do on their house...

We hadn’t appreciated how much work was involved in organizing a wedding...



Work is the place where you do your job.

Many people travel to work by car...

She told her friends at work that she was trying to lose weight.

N-UNCOUNT : usu to/at N


Work is something which you produce as a result of an activity or as a result of doing your job.

It can help to have an impartial third party look over your work...

Tidiness in the workshop is really essential for producing good work...

N-UNCOUNT : oft poss / adj N


A work is something such as a painting, book, or piece of music produced by an artist, writer, or composer.

In my opinion, this is Rembrandt’s greatest work...

N-COUNT : usu with supp


If someone is working on a particular subject or question, they are studying or researching it.

Professor Bonnet has been working for many years on molecules of this type.

VERB : V on n

Work is also a noun.

Their work shows that one-year-olds are much more likely to have allergies if either parent smokes.



If you work with a person or a group of people, you spend time and effort trying to help them in some way.

She spent a period of time working with people dying of cancer...

VERB : V with/among n

Work is also a noun.

She became involved in social and relief work among the refugees.

N-UNCOUNT : with supp , usu poss N , N with/among n


If a machine or piece of equipment works , it operates and performs a particular function.

The pump doesn’t work and we have no running water...



If an idea, system, or way of doing something works , it is successful, effective, or satisfactory.

95 per cent of these diets do not work...

A methodical approach works best.

VERB : V , V adv


If a drug or medicine works , it produces a particular physical effect.

I wake at 6am as the sleeping pill doesn’t work for more than nine hours...

The drug works by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain.

VERB : V , V prep / adv


If something works in your favour, it helps you in some way. If something works to your disadvantage, it causes problems for you in some way.

One factor thought to have worked in his favour is his working class image...

VERB : V prep


If something or someone works their magic or works their charms on a person, they have a powerful positive effect on them.

Nevertheless, she is always optimistic about the possibilities and can work her charm on the disenchanted...

VERB : V n on n


If your mind or brain is working , you are thinking about something or trying to solve a problem.

My mind was working frantically, running over the events of the evening.



If you work on an assumption or idea, you act as if it were true or base other ideas on it, until you have more information.

We are working on the assumption that it was a gas explosion.

VERB : V on n


If you work a particular area or type of place, you travel around that area or work in those places as part of your job, for example trying to sell something there.

Brand has been working the clubs and the pubs since 1986, developing her comedy act...

VERB : V n


If you work someone, you make them spend time and effort doing a particular activity or job.

They’re working me too hard. I’m too old for this...

VERB : V n adv / prep


If someone, often a politician or entertainer, works a crowd, they create a good relationship with the people in the crowd and get their support or interest.

The Prime Minister has an ability to work a crowd–some might even suggest it is a kind of charm...

VERB : V n


When people work the land, they do all the tasks involved in growing crops.

Farmers worked the fertile valleys.

VERB : V n


When a mine is worked , minerals such as coal or gold are removed from it.

The mines had first been worked in 1849, when gold was discovered in California...

VERB : be V-ed


If you work a machine or piece of equipment, you use or control it.

Many adults still depend on their children to work the video.

= operate

VERB : V n


If something works into a particular state or condition, it gradually moves so that it is in that state or condition.

A screw had worked loose from my glasses.

VERB : V adj


If you work a substance such as dough or clay, you keep pressing it to make it have a particular texture.

Work the dough with the palm of your hand until it is very smooth...

VERB : V n


If you work a material such as metal, leather, or stone, you cut, sew, or shape it in order to make something or to create a design.

...the machines needed to extract and work the raw stone.

VERB : V n


If you work a part of your body, or if it works , you move it.

Each position will work the muscles in a different way...

Her mouth was working in her sleep.

VERB : V n , V


A works is a place where something is manufactured or where an industrial process is carried out. Works is used to refer to one or to more than one of these places.

The steel works could be seen for miles.

N-COUNT-COLL : usu n N , N n


Works are activities such as digging the ground or building on a large scale.

...six years of disruptive building works, road construction and urban development.

N-PLURAL : usu supp N


see also working


If someone is at work they are doing their job or are busy doing a particular activity.

The salvage teams are already hard at work trying to deal with the spilled oil...

Television cameras were invited in to film him at work.

PHRASE : usu v-link PHR


If a force or process is at work , it is having a particular influence or effect.

It is important to understand the powerful economic and social forces at work behind our own actions.

PHRASE : usu v-link PHR


If you say that you will have your work cut out to do something, you mean that it will be a very difficult task.

The new administration has its work cut out for it. Creating jobs in this kind of environment is not going to be easy...

He will have his work cut out to get into the team.

PHRASE : V inflects , oft PHR for n , PHR to-inf


If something is in the works , it has already been planned or begun. ( mainly AM; in BRIT, usually use in the pipeline )

He said there were dozens of economic plans in the works...

PHRASE : usu n PHR , v-link PHR


You can use work to talk about how easily or quickly a particular task is done. For example, if a person or thing makes short work of doing something or makes light work of it, they do it quickly and easily.

An aerosol spray will make short work of painting awkward objects...

This horse made light work of the cross-country course...

PHRASE : V inflects , PHR -ing / n


If you put someone to work or set them to work , you give them a job or task to do.

By stimulating the economy, we’re going to put people to work...

Instead of sending them to prison, we have set them to work helping the lemon growers.

PHRASE : V inflects , oft PHR prep , PHR -ing


If you get to work , go to work , or set to work on a job, task, or problem, you start doing it or dealing with it.

He promised to get to work on the state’s massive deficit...

He returned to America where he set to work on a new novel.

PHRASE : V inflects , oft PHR on n


If you work your way somewhere, you move or progress there slowly, and with a lot of effort or work.

Rescuers were still working their way towards the trapped men...

Many personnel managers started as secretaries or personnel assistants and worked their way up.

PHRASE : V inflects , PHR prep / adv


to throw a spanner in the works: see spanner

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.