guess·​work | \ˈges-ˌwərk \

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

Some early guesswork on how the top of the first round might go. Peter King,, "The 2018 NFL Draft Could Very Well Feature Four Quarterbacks in First Five Picks ... Or Not," 21 Mar. 2018 And so the two teams went on to the second penalty shootout of the day,which turned into a display of solid goalkeeping guesswork. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Shootout Sunday: Croatia Follows Russia’s Lead and Wins on Penalty Kicks," 3 July 2018 Whereas hitters once could have sat on fastballs and been right roughly two-thirds of the time, there’s now a lot more guesswork involved. Alex Speier,, "What’s up with all the strikeouts in Major League Baseball?," 12 July 2018 Knowing the difference takes experience, for us parents and teachers, and even a bit of nail-biting and guesswork based on equal parts intuition and calculation. Todd R. Nelson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Of time, tide, and graduation," 27 June 2018 One of the earliest attempts to estimate the number of genes in the human genome involved tipsy geneticists, a bar in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, and pure guesswork. Cassandra Willyard, Scientific American, "New Human Gene Tally Reignites Debate," 19 June 2018 Anticipating James’s next move comes down to faulty guesswork and is largely futile, and that reality makes the Cavaliers’ offseason all the more challenging. Ben Ladner,, "Cleveland Cavaliers Offseason Preview: Will LeBron James Stay or Go?," 10 June 2018 Such modeling can take some of the guesswork out of surgery before a single cut is made. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "Surgeons are using 3-D-printed organs to figure out the best way to operate," 11 June 2018 For beginners, Glowforge offers a catalog of designs for things like jewelry, containers, and lighting, taking the guesswork out of gifting and Etsy orders. Sunset, "This 3D Printer is A DIYer’s Dream," 22 Jan. 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

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

Kids Definition of guesswork

: work done or results gotten by guessing

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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).


to express warning or disapproval

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