leg·​work | \ˈleg-ˌwərk also ˈlāg- \

Definition of legwork 

: 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

This includes both the van and the conversion, and Boho does all the legwork of finding a van to get started. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Boho-chic, fully converted camper van is $35K," 10 Sep. 2018 Even that step requires legal legwork, such as establishing that Myanmar has no adequate national mechanism for accountability. Jon Emont, WSJ, "Court Ruling Opens Bumpy Road for Myanmar Prosecutions," 7 Sep. 2018 Moral of the story: Do a bit of legwork before whipping out your digital wallet to drum up work. Michelle Goodman, The Seattle Times, "Should you pay for freelance job opportunities?," 4 Sep. 2018 The political will, and ability, do to that kind of legwork is relatively rare. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "New Catholic sex abuse allegations show how long justice can take in a 16-year scandal," 24 Aug. 2018 Tedium has put a lot of legwork in on finding original documents from the era, all of which are worth checking out). David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Where Area Codes Came From, And Why They Don't Make Sense," 3 Nov. 2017 There’s still a lot left to happen, but at this point, teams have done the majority of their legwork. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2018 NBA Draft Big Board 8.0: Top 100 Prospects After the Early Entry Deadline," 31 May 2018 Experts say the effort can pay off, but be prepared to invest some legwork and even some money in the pursuit of a lower tax bill. Aimee Picchi, USA TODAY, "New tax law: Steps to cut property tax are worth effort, money after SALT cap," 20 Mar. 2018 Just had to hit a lot of putts, just put in the legwork. Steve Dimeglio, USA TODAY, "With his yacht Privacy nearby, Tiger peacefully seeks to get putter going for U.S. Open," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legwork.' 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 legwork

1891, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near legwork


leg up

leg warmer




Le Havre

Statistics for legwork

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for legwork

The first known use of legwork was in 1891

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English Language Learners Definition of legwork

: the active physical work that is involved in doing something

More from Merriam-Webster on legwork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with legwork

Nglish: Translation of legwork for Spanish Speakers

Comments on legwork

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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