work·​out | \ ˈwərk-ˌau̇t How to pronounce workout (audio) \

Definition of workout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a practice or exercise to test or improve one's fitness for athletic competition, ability, or performance
2 : a test of one's ability, capacity, stamina, or suitability
3 : an undertaking or plan intended to resolve a problem of indebtedness especially in lieu of bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings

work out

worked out; working out; works out

Definition of work out (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to bring about by labor and exertion work out your own salvation — Philippians 2:12 (King James Version)
b : to solve (something, such as a problem) by a process of reasoning or calculation
c : to devise, arrange, or achieve by resolving difficulties after many years of wrangling, worked out a definite agreement— A. A. Butkus
d : develop the final situation is not worked out with psychological profundity— Leslie Rees
2 : to discharge (a debt) by labor
3 : to exhaust (something, such as a mine) by working

intransitive verb

1a : to prove effective, practicable, or suitable how this will actually work out I don't know— Milton Kotler
b : to amount to a total or calculated figure used with at or to
2 : to engage in a workout works out regularly at the gym

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Examples of workout in a Sentence


The team had a good workout at practice today. Her workout includes running on the treadmill and lifting weights.


by putting our heads together, we were able to work out the problem worked out a compromise between the warring factions
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In fact, after dropping George off at school, Prince William has been known to head to a workout with some of the moms at school. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Prince William Reportedly Works Out with Moms from Prince George's School," 16 Apr. 2019 Ficken spent parts of the past two seasons with the Rams and was signed by Seattle following a workout with the Seahawks. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks waive kicker Sam Ficken, linebacker Emmanuel Beal," 12 Apr. 2019 Peloton’s digital workout buddies have become a special kind of modern family. Leah Groth, Glamour, "Peloton’s Online Community Is Changing the Fitness Game for Moms," 9 Apr. 2019 These two technologies can’t be thought of as just training aids for serious cyclists, or workout gear for those unwilling to exercise in subzero temps. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "PM Approved: Kickr Smart Bike Trainer," 29 Jan. 2019 Most of Curtis's other Instagram posts feature her in jeans, overalls, or workout clothes. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Nicole Curtis Looks Stronger Than Ever in New Swimsuit Photo," 13 Aug. 2018 The Ocean House Club is a special year-round organization offering members dining, beach and workout and activity privileges. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "The Best Room At," 8 Mar. 2019 Richmond and Smith coordinated workouts to ensure Robinson could accomplish this task. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Sydney Robinson sprints towards girls outdoor track and field Athlete of the Year honors," 26 June 2018 Translation: The circuit ends up being a sneaky cardio workout, too. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "This 4-Move Workout Works Your Whole Body—and All You Need Is a Step," 19 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Staying healthy isn’t just about working out and investing in self care. Jessica Booth, Redbook, "Everything You Need To Know About Food Deserts," 29 Apr. 2019 They have been rescheduled, and building staff will work out of Community High School District 117’s other high school, Antioch Community High School. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Electrical fire causes evacuation of Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa," 9 July 2018 Everything has worked out for the 19-year-old, celebrity daughter whose parents bought her way into college. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Olivia Jade's Beauty Brand Trademark Has Been Approved, Grammar Be Damned," 9 Apr. 2019 Boring Company employees, who work out of the Space X facility, know how awful these intersections are. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "We don’t need more dedicated places where cars can go fast," 20 Dec. 2018 High-ranking officials from the two countries exchanged public threats and admonishments Wednesday, then met later that day to work out their differences. Courtney Mcbride, WSJ, "Dispute Mars Conclusion of NATO Anniversary Event in Washington," 4 Apr. 2019 While the politicians try to work out the details, Prince Charles is taking symbolic steps to assure that the two countries remain close. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Charles Makes a Post-Brexit Pledge to Visit All of Ireland's 32 Counties," 9 Mar. 2019 Neither side would release details of the agreement but said the current contract was extended into May to allow time to work out details and take ratification votes at national carrier YRC Freight and the company’s regional units. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Delivery on Demand; Trucking’s Labor Peace; Automotive Downshift," 22 Mar. 2019 Ezra Klein: Not just jokes, but like small-town clubs, as a place to work out material. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism," 12 Dec. 2018

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


1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1534, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for workout

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for workout

The first known use of workout was in 1534

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More Definitions for workout



English Language Learners Definition of workout

: a period of physical exercise that you do in order to improve your fitness, ability, or performance


work·​out | \ ˈwərk-ˌau̇t How to pronounce workout (audio) \

Kids Definition of workout

: an exercise or practice to test or improve ability or performance



Legal Definition of workout

: an undertaking or plan intended to resolve a problem of indebtedness especially in lieu of bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings

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More from Merriam-Webster on workout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with workout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for workout

Spanish Central: Translation of workout

Nglish: Translation of workout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of workout for Arabic Speakers

Comments on workout

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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