work·​ing | \ ˈwər-kiŋ How to pronounce working (audio) \

Definition of working

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the manner of functioning or operating : operation usually used in plural the inner workings of the government
2 : an excavation or group of excavations made in mining, quarrying, or tunneling usually used in plural



Definition of working (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : engaged in work especially for wages or a salary a working journalist a working mother
2 : adequate to permit work to be done a working majority
3 : assumed or adopted to permit or facilitate further work or activity a working draft
4 : spent at work working life
5 : being in use or operation a working farm

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Examples of working in a Sentence


There is a good working relationship between the departments. the working parts of the machine

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Robert Smith was raised in a working-class Denver neighborhood in the 1970s. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Who’s Afraid of Robert Smith’s Philanthropy?," 28 May 2019 That some workers are feeling left behind and have already witnessed firsthand how institutional neglect can ravage working-class communities is a familiar concept to me. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Climate Disaster Is a Labor Issue. Here's Why.," 23 May 2019 Restrictive clothing, poisonous products, fake health trends, and unsafe working conditions have a long history of fashion victims. Serah-marie Mcmahon, Teen Vogue, "This New Book Is All About the Dark (And Sometimes Bloody) History of Fashion," 12 Apr. 2019 Making health care more easily accessible to the homeless and better sharing of patient records between providers are two areas of focus for a new working group of government agencies and social-services providers in New York City. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "New York City Tries to Link Nexus of Doctors Serving the Homeless," 26 Jan. 2019 Salazar is also longtime DSA activist, having served on the organizing committee of the DSA’s socialist-feminist working group. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Julia Salazar, the socialist politician accused of lying about her past, explained," 7 Sep. 2018 But the working group’s formation is evidence that TSA leadership is taking a much more serious look at the possibility. Chris Welch, The Verge, "TSA reportedly considering an end to passenger screening at small airports," 1 Aug. 2018 According to a report in Axios, Israel and the United States formed a joint working group in recent months to help support internal opposition to the Tehran regime. NBC News, "U.S. refuses European requests for exemptions from its new sanctions on Iran," 14 July 2018 In Hartford, a group of blockchain experts have begun studying the technology as part of a legislative working group. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Arrival of Infosys and Seven Stars Raises Hopes For Financial Tech Future Of Hartford Region," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Time is running out for all of us, but at a faster pace for the poor and working class. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Climate Disaster Is a Labor Issue. Here's Why.," 23 May 2019 For poor and working-class families, especially those who are Black and Brown, public schools are often the only option for primary and secondary education. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Access to Education for Black Children Proves Difficult for Their Parents, Creating a Disadvantage," 13 Mar. 2019 For the women in these pages, and with any luck for many more, the working world is shifting, fermenting, maturing. Mikael Jansson, Vogue, "14 Countries, 14 Superstars: The Global Actors Who Know No Limits," 14 Mar. 2019 According to The Wall Street Journal, Craig had initially listed the ranch, called Rancho Paseana, for $30 million a few years ago, and the property took a long time to sell because Craig wanted a buyer who would keep it as a working horse facility. Sarah Yang, House Beautiful, "Bill Gates Buys Jenny Craig's Horse Ranch," 10 Oct. 2014 But schools that serve poor, immigrant and working-class populations don’t have the luxury of assuming that paying for college isn’t a major issue for their students’ parents. Caitlin Macy, WSJ, "AP Tests Are Still a Great American Equalizer," 22 Feb. 2019 Their absence from the working world has wider economic consequences. Jeanna Smialek, The Seattle Times, "Millennial men leave perplexing hole in hot US job market," 20 Nov. 2018 The August date is crucial because few people realize the long history of unequal pay and unfair working conditions Black women have had to face. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Black Women's Labor in America Has Always Been Exploited," 7 Aug. 2018 That both were female candidates competing with male opponents also diminishes the notion that sexism was at the heart of Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 troubles with working-class men. Dante Chinni, WSJ, "Blue-Collar Voters Are Up for Grabs in 2020," 16 Dec. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1708, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for working

Last Updated

5 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for working

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

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More Definitions for working



English Language Learners Definition of working

: having a job
: of or relating to a person's job
: suitable to be worn while working


work·​ing | \ ˈwər-kiŋ How to pronounce working (audio) \

Kids Definition of working

1 : doing work especially for a living working people
2 : relating to work working hours
3 : good enough to allow work or further work to be done a working agreement

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More from Merriam-Webster on working

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for working

Spanish Central: Translation of working

Nglish: Translation of working for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of working for Arabic Speakers

Comments on working

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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