Meaning of WORK in English


n. & v.


1. the application of mental or physical effort to a purpose; the use of energy.

2 a a task to be undertaken. b the materials for this. c (prec. by the; foll. by of) a task occupying (no more than) a specified time (the work of a moment).

3 a thing done or made by work; the result of an action; an achievement; a thing made.

4 a person's employment or occupation etc., esp. as a means of earning income (looked for work; is out of work).

5 a a literary or musical composition. b (in pl.) all such by an author or composer etc.

6 actions or experiences of a specified kind (good work!; this is thirsty work).

7 a (in comb.) things or parts made of a specified material or with specified tools etc. (ironwork; needlework). b archaic needlework.

8 (in pl.) the operative part of a clock or machine.

9 Physics the exertion of force overcoming resistance or producing molecular change (convert heat into work).

10 (in pl.) colloq. all that is available; everything needed.

11 (in pl.) operations of building or repair (road works).

12 (in pl.; often treated as sing.) a place where manufacture is carried on.

13 (usu. in pl.) Theol. a meritorious act.

14 (usu. in pl. or in comb.) a defensive structure (earthworks).

15 (in comb.) a ornamentation of a specified kind (poker-work). b articles having this.

--v. (past and past part. worked or (esp. as adj.) wrought)

1. intr. (often foll. by at, on) do work; be engaged in bodily or mental activity.

2 intr. a be employed in certain work (works in industry; works as a secretary). b (foll. by with) be the workmate of (a person).

3 intr. (often foll. by for) make efforts; conduct a campaign (works for peace).

4 intr. (foll. by in) be a craftsman (in a material).

5 intr. operate or function, esp. effectively (how does this machine work?; your idea will not work).

6 intr. (of a part of a machine) run, revolve; go through regular motions.

7 tr. carry on, manage, or control (cannot work the machine).

8 tr. a put or keep in operation or at work; cause to toil (this mine is no longer worked; works the staff very hard). b cultivate (land).

9 tr. bring about; produce as a result (worked miracles).

10 tr. knead, hammer; bring to a desired shape or consistency.

11 tr. do, or make by, needlework etc.

12 tr. & intr. (cause to) progress or penetrate, or make (one's way), gradually or with difficulty in a specified way (worked our way through the crowd; worked the peg into the hole).

13 intr. (foll. by loose etc.) gradually become (loose etc.) by constant movement.

14 tr. artificially excite (worked themselves into a rage).

15 tr. solve (a sum) by mathematics.

16 tr. a purchase with one's labour instead of money (work one's passage). b obtain by labour the money for (one's way through university etc.).

17 intr. (foll. by on, upon) have influence.

18 intr. be in motion or agitated; cause agitation, ferment (his features worked violently; the yeast began to work).

19 intr. Naut. sail against the wind.

Phrases and idioms:

at work in action or engaged in work. give a person the works

1. colloq. give or tell a person everything.

2 colloq. treat a person harshly.

3 sl. kill a person. have one's work cut out be faced with a hard task. set to work begin or cause to begin operations. work away (or on) continue to work. work-basket (or -bag etc.) a basket or bag etc. containing sewing materials. work camp a camp at which community work is done esp. by young volunteers. work one's fingers to the bone see BONE. work in find a place for. work it colloq. bring it about; achieve a desired result. work of art a fine picture, poem, or building etc. work off get rid of by work or activity.

work out

1. solve (a sum) or find out (an amount) by calculation.

2 (foll. by at) be calculated (the total works out at 230).

3 give a definite result (this sum will not work out).

4 have a specified result (the plan worked out well).

5 provide for the details of (has worked out a scheme).

6 accomplish or attain with difficulty (work out one's salvation).

7 exhaust with work (the mine is worked out).

8 engage in physical exercise or training.

work over

1. examine thoroughly.

2 colloq. treat with violence. works council esp. Brit. a group of employees representing those employed in a works etc. in discussions with their employers. work-shy disinclined to work. works of supererogation see SUPEREROGATION. work study a system of assessing methods of working so as to achieve the maximum output and efficiency. work table a table for working at, esp. with a sewing-machine. work to rule (esp. as a form of industrial action) follow official working rules exactly in order to reduce output and efficiency. work-to-rule the act or an instance of working to rule.

work up

1. bring gradually to an efficient state.

2 (foll. by to) advance gradually to a climax.

3 elaborate or excite by degrees.

4 mingle (ingredients) into a whole.

5 learn (a subject) by study. work one's will (foll. by on, upon) archaic accomplish one's purpose on (a person or thing). work wonders see WONDER.


workless adj.

Etymology: OE weorc etc. f. Gmc

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.