work ethic


Definition of work ethic 

: a belief in work as a moral good : a set of values centered on the importance of doing work and reflected especially in a desire or determination to work hard

Examples of work ethic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Demery’s work ethic was on display all of Saturday afternoon. Chapel Fowler, charlotteobserver, "Here's what this former Charlotte prep star did to get noticed at his Hornets workout," 2 June 2018 Longtime Simeon coach Robert Smith praised Pinson’s work ethic. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "Mizzou basketball will need Xavier Pinson to bulk up, so he's eating 'a lot' of PB&J," 4 May 2018 Child Protective Services investigators once complained about Valdez’s work ethic to Campos. Emilie Eaton, San Antonio Express-News, "Six months after a sex-crimes detective was fired, a woman still waits for justice," 16 Apr. 2018 One reason for Asia’s relative stinginess may be a lingering belief that safety nets erode people’s work ethic and foster dependency. The Economist, "How developing countries weave social safety nets," 12 Apr. 2018 The Ravens coaches won’t say anything about Flacco’s work ethic, but the extra time might be the difference between getting into the postseason or missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year. Mike Preston,, "Preston: A little more from Joe Flacco might make a big difference to the Ravens," 26 Mar. 2018 Langkabel’s work ethic was forged by his parents, Leigh and Kristi Langkabel. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Can this Hickory-Mayberry combo in Shelby County win its sectional with Hayden Langkabel?," 18 Jan. 2018 Unsurprisingly, there was a partisan gulf in how people viewed Trump’s work ethic. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "Americans think Trump doesn't work as hard as most presidents," 17 Jan. 2018 Nielsen quickly won the retired general’s trust, impressing him with her work ethic and command of the issues. Washington Post, "‘Great job,’ says Trump: Nielsen back in good graces for now," 21 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of work ethic

1945, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about work ethic

Share work ethic

Statistics for work ethic

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for work ethic

The first known use of work ethic was in 1945

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on work ethic Encyclopedia article about work ethic

Comments on work ethic

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


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!