1 of 2


out·​work ˌau̇t-ˈwərk How to pronounce outwork (audio)
outworked; outworking; outworks

transitive verb

: to work harder, faster, or better than


2 of 2


out·​work ˈau̇t-ˌwərk How to pronounce outwork (audio)
: a minor defensive position constructed outside a fortified area

Examples of outwork in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
At an event at a vineyard in Hollis, N.H., later that day, with attendees shielded under umbrellas as rain poured from the sky, Ms. Haley expressed optimism, promising to outwork her rivals. Jazmine Ulloa, New York Times, 7 Aug. 2023 The Patriots need to be more consistent, more attentive to detail, and need to outwork their opponents. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 26 July 2023
That identity, Rich said, is going to be to outwork teams, to spread people out and rely on its depth. Sam Cohn, Baltimore Sun, 12 Sep. 2023 Yet, in recent years his hustle, and ability to outwork opponents on the glass, has made that viewpoint irrelevant. Morten Stig Jensen, Forbes, 3 May 2023 See all Example Sentences for outwork 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'outwork.' 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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1615, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of outwork was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near outwork

Cite this Entry

“Outwork.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outwork. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
out·​work (ˈ)au̇t-ˈwərk How to pronounce outwork (audio)
: to outdo in working


2 of 2 noun
out·​work ˈau̇t-ˌwərk How to pronounce outwork (audio)
: a small protected position constructed outside a main defense (as a castle)
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