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 Marketers hope that technology like Persado's can push the trend further by taking the guesswork out of ad writing, a task that still relies largely on the instincts of mere humans. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "How marketers are increasingly using A.I. to persuade you to buy," 31 Jan. 2020 Take the guesswork out of the process by getting a kit that has both brine mix and rub. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Great Ways to Brine a Turkey," 10 Jan. 2020 This scope is a great tool for a shooter who wants to start getting serious about long range target practice, take the guesswork out of hunting shots, or both. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "The 2019 Rifle Shooter’s Holiday Gift Guide," 13 Nov. 2019 So deciding in advance whether an intervention that seemed to have positive outcomes in one place will do the same elsewhere becomes a matter of guesswork. Nimi Hoffman, Quartz Africa, "The problem with economists using randomized trials in developing countries," 11 Dec. 2019 Again, this might involve a little bit of guesswork., "Peaky Blinders: Which Football Teams Cillian Murphy & Rest of the Cast Support," 8 Sep. 2019 The Bank of Korea in Seoul, using a mixed-bag of data and some guesswork, reckons the North’s output shrank 3.5 percent in 2017 to about $32.2 billion, or more than 40 times smaller than South Korea’s GDP. David Tweed | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "What You Need to Know About North Korea and Sanctions: QuickTake," 15 Mar. 2019 Franklin has taken the guesswork out of where pets are allowed by providing businesses with one of three signs that clearly tell pet owners what the rules are. Kelli Bender,, "Nashville Is Going to the Dogs in a Good Way — And Your City Can Too!," 4 Nov. 2019 Mangham style After all sorts of offseason guesswork, the Buffs’ muddled running back situation finally gets some clarity. The Denver Post, "Rocky Mountain Showdown 2019: Who has the edge, staff predictions and things to watch," 29 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for guesswork

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The first known use of guesswork was in 1725

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Statistics for guesswork

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Guesswork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for guesswork


How to pronounce guesswork (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guesswork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guesswork

Spanish Central: Translation of guesswork

Nglish: Translation of guesswork for Spanish Speakers

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