guess·​work | \ ˈges-ˌwərk How to pronounce guesswork (audio) \

Definition of guesswork

: work performed or results obtained by guess : conjecture

Examples of guesswork in a Sentence

Calculating the drug's long-term effects is pure guesswork.

Recent Examples on the Web

How the first quarter actually is progressing is a matter of even more guesswork than usual as a result of data delays. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Economic Growth Just Got Malled," 14 Feb. 2019 While the market has thinned greatly in recent weeks—Evander Kane’s seven-year deal with the Sharks took a chunk out of the guesswork—the great prize of the summer is still out there in John Tavares. Michael Blinn,, "John Tavares the Biggest Name in a Thin 2018 NHL Free Agent Market," 5 June 2018 WWD Chic hostess gift ideas take the guesswork out of saying thank you during the holidays. Joyann King, Harper's BAZAAR, "While You Were Sleeping...Designers Sketch Kate Middleton's Wedding Gown, Rihanna Goes Brunete, Plus More!," 15 Dec. 2010 The décor-savvy idea behind purchasing a gallery wall kit is that the set takes the guesswork out of what prints work well with others, how many to include, and the at times complicated framing aspect. Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "Hutch Launches Gallery Wall Kits Featuring Female Artists," 5 Oct. 2018 The rug can be your anchor, so, take the guesswork out of furniture arrangement by placing your rug first. Bridget Mallon, ELLE Decor, "How To Decorate Around Your Favorite Rug," 28 Sep. 2015 BaubleBar, a new online retailer, wants to take the guesswork out of shopping for fashion jewelry. Christine Lennon, Harper's BAZAAR, "BaubleBar Makes Shopping for Jewelry Guilt Free," 20 Dec. 2010 Click & Grow's Smart Garden 3 essentially takes all the guesswork out of gardening, with a little help from some magic (AKA technology and special soil). Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This Smart Garden Will Keep You From Killing All Your Plants," 3 Dec. 2018 Traditionally, hackers might use simple guesswork to break into user accounts in what is referred to as brute-force cracking: With enough attempts, a hacker might be able to figure out the correct password. Adam Janofsky, WSJ, "AI Could Make Cyberattacks More Dangerous, Harder to Detect," 13 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guesswork.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of guesswork

1725, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for guesswork

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for guesswork

The first known use of guesswork was in 1725

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More Definitions for guesswork



English Language Learners Definition of guesswork

: the act or process of finding an answer by guessing


guess·​work | \ ˈges-ˌwərk How to pronounce guesswork (audio) \

Kids Definition of guesswork

: work done or results gotten by guessing

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More from Merriam-Webster on guesswork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guesswork

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guesswork

Spanish Central: Translation of guesswork

Nglish: Translation of guesswork for Spanish Speakers

Comments on guesswork

What made you want to look up guesswork? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


likely to have or produce good results

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