work·​er | \ˈwər-kər \

Definition of worker 

1a : one that works especially at manual or industrial labor or with a particular material a factory worker often used in combination

b : a member of the working class

2 : any of the sexually underdeveloped and usually sterile members of a colony of social ants, bees, wasps, or termites that perform most of the labor and protective duties of the colony

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for worker


employee (also employe), hand, hireling, jobholder, retainer



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of worker in a Sentence

The company is planning to hire 200 workers. The average worker earned $1,000 more this year. If management doesn't make the changes, the workers will go on strike. They are both hard workers.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Five legal and health care advocates also confirmed to BuzzFeed News that ICE provides pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins, and sometimes allows for a standard entrance exam by nonspecialist medical workers. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Pregnant Women Are Allegedly Being Denied Medical Care in Immigration Detention Centers," 10 July 2018 Highland Public Works Director John Bach said workers had been out all day making sure basins were cleaned of debris. Michelle L. Quinn, Post-Tribune, "Storms cause thousands of power outages in Northwest Indiana," 5 July 2018 The final two categories, transportation and human experience, are even more directly connected to the building's workers. Michael Walsh, Courant Community, "Legrand Receives LEED Certification From U.S. Green Building Council," 2 July 2018 With the countdown to opening at less than four days, workers streamed in and out of Cleveland Clinic Florida’s newest South Florida facility on Thursday installing and testing the final pieces of high-tech equipment. Ron Hurtibise,, "Cleveland Clinic readies new $53 million Coral Springs Family Health Center," 13 July 2018 For workers, more pain may be coming, as economists are concerned that prices could rise further due to President Trumps tariffs on many foreign imports. Heather Long,, "Inflation hits 6-year high, wiping out wage gains for the average American," 13 July 2018 Aid workers reckon that the Nigerian government has posted no more than two civilian administrators to the town. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018 In the end, migrant workers simply splashed paint on buildings, many of them architectural monuments, to obscure their battered state, said Anna A. Davydova, a local urban preservation activist. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, "Peeking Around Corners in the World Cup’s Provincial Cities," 14 July 2018 About 20 election workers with the secular Awami National Party were killed Tuesday in a suicide blast in the northwestern capital of Peshawar. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, "As former Pakistan leader returns to begin jail sentence, deadly bombing adds to ‘atmosphere of fear’," 13 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about worker

Statistics for worker

Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for worker

The first known use of worker was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for worker



English Language Learners Definition of worker

: a person who does a particular job to earn money

: a person who is actively involved in a particular activity

: a person whose job does not involve managing other people


work·​er | \ˈwər-kər \

Kids Definition of worker

1 : a person who works cafeteria workers He's a good worker.

2 : one of the members of a colony of bees, ants, wasps, or termites that do most of the work of the colony

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on worker

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


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!