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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Ayton has a size and skill advantage over Warriors starting center Kevon Looney, but Looney battles and always looks to outwork the Suns center. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 25 Oct. 2022 Never once did Russell believe any of those big men, who may have earned hundreds of millions more than him, would ever be able to score on him, or outwork him, or screen him from a rebound. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, 31 July 2022 Talented blonde teenagers willing to outwork and outwrite everyone else. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 27 Apr. 2022 There should be plenty of chances for Towns to outwork his opposition on the glass tonight. Xl Media, cleveland, 23 Apr. 2022 Hitters battle the count and find ways to outwork opposing pitchers. Jenna Ortiz, The Arizona Republic, 18 Apr. 2022 Brady constantly sought to outwork his competition. John Powers, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Feb. 2022 Even with a lead, ASU looked internally at the defense to outwork Lipscomb’s budding efforts. Jenna Ortiz, The Arizona Republic, 31 Dec. 2021 No one’s going to outwork him and people gravitate to that. Steve Millar, chicagotribune.com, 15 Dec. 2021
The way to be successful was to give it your all, outwork everyone else. Sarah Barker, Outside Online, 6 July 2021 While none of the four will start out on scholarship all four have taken the gamble to bet on themselves, outwork and outplay scholarship prospects and earn a free education and playing time on Saturdays. oregonlive, 29 Apr. 2021 Fury used his movement and crisp jab to outwork Wilder. cleveland, 22 Feb. 2020 Ed practiced his players three times a day, because his opening game opponent was working out his team twice a day, and Ed was gonna outwork that guy. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, 24 July 2019 Jay will listen, outwork anyone, and will act with the highest of ethical standards. Houston Chronicle, 30 June 2018 Vegas would like nothing more than to outwork and outhustle Winnipeg, win the neutral zone and score timely goals to win another series. Tim Hackett, SI.com, 11 May 2018 As a businessman Huizenga was famously disciplined and demanding, determined to outwork competitors and inspire employees. Mike Clary, Sun-Sentinel.com, 23 Mar. 2018 Spoelstra masks this small flaw by getting his group to outwork teams in scrabbles for loose balls. Karl Bullock, SI.com, 1 Feb. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'outwork.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 9 Feb. 2023.

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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