Meaning of JOB in English


job S1 W1 AC /dʒɒb $ dʒɑːb/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ job , jobless; adjective : ↑ jobless ]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: Perhaps from job 'piece, lump' (15-17 centuries) ]

1 . WORK [countable] the regular paid work that you do for an employer:

Do you enjoy your job?

It was the first paid job I ever had.

He’s been in the job for six years.

I’m looking for a new job.

Your pension can be affected if you change jobs.

⇨ ↑ job description


In everyday English, people usually ask What do you do? or What does she/he do? when asking what someone’s job is.

2 . DUTY [singular] something that you are responsible for doing:

Raising kids can be a difficult job.

It’s my job to make sure that the work is finished on time.

the job of somebody/something

The job of the jury is to assess the credibility of the witness.

the job of doing something

I was given the job of making sure that everyone had enough to drink.

All too often councils fall down on the job (=not do what they should) of keeping the streets clean.


In written English, people often prefer to use task or duty rather than job , as they sound more formal:

Our first task was to prepare the agenda for the meeting.

3 . SOMETHING YOU MUST DO [countable] a particular thing you have to do, considered as work SYN task :

My parents were always finding little jobs for me to do.

Filleting fish can be quite a fiddly job.

Tiling the bathroom is going to be a big job.

Sam does odd jobs (=small jobs in the house or garden) for friends and neighbours.

the job of doing something

The job of choosing the right computer for you is made easy by this magazine.

We need to get on with the job of finding someone to replace him.

do a good/great/marvellous etc job

Whoever did the plastering did a brilliant job.

make a good/bad etc job of (doing) something

She hates doing the cleaning, but she always makes a good job of it.

4 . on the job

a) while you are doing a particular job:

Most clerical training is done on the job.

b) doing a particular job:

We’ve got some of our best people on the job.

c) British English spoken informal having sex

5 . I’m only/just doing my job spoken used to say that it is not your fault if you have to do something in your work that other people do not like

6 . it’s more than my job’s worth British English spoken used to tell someone that you cannot do what they want because you would lose your job if you did – often used humorously

7 . do the job spoken to have the effect or produce the result that you want:

A little more glue should do the job.

8 . job done informal used to say that someone has done something that was necessary, especially quickly and easily:

When we scored three times in the first half, we thought, ‘Job done.’

9 . have a job doing something/have a job to do something British English spoken to have difficulty doing something:

I think we might have a job parking in town.

10 . do a job on somebody/something especially American English informal to have a damaging effect on someone or something:

The sun does quite a job on people’s skin.

11 . COMPUTER [countable] an action done by a computer:

a print job

12 . CRIME [countable] informal a crime in which money is stolen from a bank, company etc:

a bank job

Police believe it was an inside job (=done by someone who works for the company where the crime happens) .

13 . a nose/boob job informal an operation to improve the appearance of your nose or breasts:

She looks completely different in this photo – she must have had a nose job.

14 . just the job British English spoken exactly what is needed for a particular purpose or situation:

This bag is just the job for carrying your sports gear.

15 . TYPE OF THING [singular] spoken used to say that something is of a particular type:

Jack’s got a new car – a red two-seater job.

16 . jobs for the boys British English when someone in an important position gives work to their friends, especially when this gives the friends an unfair advantage:

The council chief was suspended over allegations of jobs for the boys.

17 . job of work British English something that you have to do even if you do not enjoy it

18 . job lot British English a mixed group of things that are sold together:

a job lot of furniture

⇨ ↑ blow job , ↑ hand job , ↑ hatchet job , ⇨ (it’s a) good job at ↑ good 1 (49), ⇨ make the best of a bad job at ↑ best 3 (9)

• • •


■ verbs

▪ have a job

Mark doesn’t have a job right now.

▪ apply for a job

I’ve applied for a job at the university.

▪ offer somebody a job

Well, Miss Taylor, we’d like to offer you the job.

▪ get/find a job

Eventually, Mary got a job as a waitress.

▪ land a job (=get a job, especially unexpectedly)

My husband finally landed a job in marketing.

▪ take a job (=accept a job you are offered)

I was so desperate that I took the first job that came along.

▪ hold down a job (=keep a job)

He had never been able to hold down a job.

▪ lose your job

At least there’s no danger of you losing your job.

▪ leave/quit your job

Oh, Rick, you didn’t quit your job, did you?

▪ be out of a job (=not have a job)

If the project fails, we’re all out of a job.

■ adjectives

▪ temporary/permanent

The job is only temporary, but I’m hoping it will be made permanent.

▪ part-time/full-time

He had a part-time job at the pet shop.

▪ a steady job (=a job that is likely to continue)

I haven’t had a steady job since last March.

▪ a dead-end job (=a job with low wages and no chance of progress)

He had a series of dead-end jobs.

■ job + NOUN

▪ job satisfaction (=the enjoyment you get from your job)

Levels of job satisfaction vary between departments.

▪ job security (=how permanent your job is likely to be)

As an actor, he has very little job security.

▪ job losses/cuts

The factory is closing, with 600 job losses.

• • •


▪ job noun [countable] the regular paid work that you do for an employer:

a full-time job


John got a job in a car factory.

▪ work noun [uncountable] activities that you are paid for doing – used either when you work for an employer or when you work in your own business:

I started work when I was 18.


He graduated from college last year and is still looking for work.

▪ profession noun [countable] a job for which you need special education and training:

There are now a lot more women in the legal profession.


Many teachers are leaving the profession.

▪ occupation noun [countable] formal a job, or a type of job – often used on official documents:

Please give your name, age, and occupation.


a traditionally male occupation

▪ career noun [countable] the work you do or plan to do for most of your life:

I’m interested in a career in journalism.

▪ position noun [countable] formal a particular job within an organization:

I am writing to apply for the position of technical assistant.


We regret that the position has already been filled.


Please state the position which you are applying for.

▪ post noun [countable] formal a job, especially an important one in a large organization:

She has held the post of managing director for two years.


He applied for the post of Senior Manager.

▪ vacancy/opening noun [countable] a job that is available for someone to do:

The hospital has been unable to fill the vacancy.


There are very few openings in scientific research.

▪ appointment noun [countable] an important job which someone is asked to do:

He took an appointment as US trade ambassador in Geneva.

▪ posting noun [countable] a situation in which someone is sent somewhere to do a job for a period of time by the organization they work for:

This was his first posting outside the UK.


an overseas posting


His next posting took him to the Ministry of Defence.

▪ trade noun [countable] a job that involves using your hands, and for which you need special training:

Most of the men had worked in skilled trades such as carpentry and printing.

▪ employment noun [uncountable] the fact of having a job:

The factory will provide employment for local people.


She was offered employment in the sales office.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.