leg·​work ˈleg-ˌwərk How to pronounce legwork (audio)
 also  ˈlāg-
: active physical work (as in gathering information) that forms the basis of more creative or mentally exacting work (such as writing a book)

Examples of legwork in a Sentence

I wrote the article myself, but my assistant gathered the information and did most of the other legwork.
Recent Examples on the Web But significant legwork preceded the recent local triumph, and what can be seen as historic missteps were walked back. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 15 May 2024 By tapping into YouTube in this way, Musi appears to have pulled off something remarkable: Building a booming business in streaming music without taking on any of the legwork of striking deals with labels and distributors. Kate Knibbs, WIRED, 7 May 2024 So the records had kind of done the legwork for us almost. Peter Larsen, Orange County Register, 7 May 2024 Small numbers of ballots cast In Winooski, getting those 11 noncitizen votes cast in March's races took a lot of legwork for Willingham. Mikaela Lefrak, NPR, 4 May 2024 To me, the real power of Gemini is its ability to do the legwork of making the most out of my other devices. Janhoi McGregor, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Do the legwork required to understand the ramifications before making a decision that can alter your life. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 6 Mar. 2024 Seven of Miami’s 10 starting field players on Wednesday night were above the age of 30, including DeAndre Yedlin and Julian Gressel, two of the players who are being tasked doing the literal legwork that the Barca Boys can’t. Ian Nicholas Quillen, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 Other characters soon enter the picture, including Jim Doty, Ryan Avis and Tony Kava, a trio of Iowa law enforcers who smell something fishy and start doing the legwork (or, in the case of Kava, an eccentric hacker, the computer work) to prove their hunches. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 9 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'legwork.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of legwork was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near legwork

Cite this Entry

“Legwork.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legwork. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


leg·​work ˈleg-ˌwərk How to pronounce legwork (audio)
: the work involved in gathering information

More from Merriam-Webster on legwork

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