work·​ing | \ˈwər-kiŋ \

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

More auspicious, the labor participation rate for prime working-age individuals (ages 25 to 54) has risen 0.7 percentage points to 82.3% and for teens has increased to 35.5% from 34.7% over the last year. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Growth Dividend for Workers," 2 Nov. 2018 Employment rates of non-disabled working-age adults have been stunted, and their dependency on welfare programs has grown. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Social Security, food stamps, and other programs kept 44 million people out of poverty last year," 12 Sep. 2018 Countries overseas have also utilized some sort of cash transfer system, with Finland recently putting an end to a program that gave 2,000 unemployed working-age people 560 Euros per month. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Chicago could soon test universal basic income program," 17 July 2018 Recent research by the OECD in seven of its members estimated that 60% of the working-age population had stable full-time work. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 The federal guidelines set a high bar for physical activity - fewer than one in four working-age adults are actually getting that much exercise. Christopher Ingraham,, "More money, more fitness: Why people in the wealthiest states get more exercise," 5 July 2018 Over 68 percent of the working-age population lacks a college degree. Julie Heath,, "Low unemployment not helping all workers," 22 June 2018 The prime working-age population is small in comparison. Author: Sabrina Tavernise, Anchorage Daily News, "Fewer births than deaths among whites in majority of U.S. states," 21 June 2018 The prime working-age population is small in comparison. Sabrina Tavernise,, "Fewer births than deaths among whites in majority of US states," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Her son was 25 years old and working in foreign trade when four armed men abducted him and his girlfriend from their home six blocks from the mother's home. Fox News, "Mexican prosecutors find 166 skulls in mass graves," 6 Sep. 2018 No wonder the working name for his startup is rumored to be Moxy. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "JetBlue's Founder Is Launching a New U.S. Airline," 17 July 2018 Meanwhile, because of the unfiltered comedian’s straight-up bile, Barr’s sitcom about the challenges facing a working class family has been canceled, putting a whole bunch of people out of work. Karla Peterson,, "Rosanne Barr's new sitcom is canceled because of some old hate," 29 May 2018 Langone, who grew up in a working class family in Roslyn Heights, New York, first made a name for himself on Wall Street, as billionaire Ross Perot's banker. CBS News, "Why billionaire Ken Langone was inspired to write "I Love Capitalism!"," 17 May 2018 Like me, Monáe grew up a member of a big working class family in the Midwest — me in Chicago and her in Kansas City, Kansas., "Janelle Monae: How An Outsider Became a Visionary Superstar," 17 May 2018 Erdogan was born into a working class family in the tough Istanbul neighborhood of Kasımpaşa in 1954. Patrick Keddie, The New Republic, "Understanding Authoritarianism Through Soccer," 7 May 2018 What about bringing back this working class family that first debut 30 years ago that struggles from paycheck to paycheck? Fox News, "Press pounds pardon story; 'Roseanne' reboot strikes chord," 1 Apr. 2018 Bringing back Roseanne, a sitcom about a working class family, and making its star character a Trump voter seemed ripe for the times—and proved to be a prescient decision. Yohana Desta, HWD, "How ABC Scrambled to Capture Trump Voters—and Landed on Roseanne," 30 Mar. 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

4 Dec 2018

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 \

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 make faulty or ineffective

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