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

This is something of a European romance—the idea of a working-class heroine harking back to the days of Anna Magnani and Sophia Loren. Gaby Wood, Marie Claire, "Penélope Cruz Isn't Scared to Look Back," 4 Jan. 2019 Those voters are more comfortable and secure than people in poorer, more rural parts of the country — white working-class places where Trump might have won districts that went for Barack Obama before him. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The suburbs abandoned Republicans in 2018, and they might not be coming back.," 26 Dec. 2018 This is a movement that is linked to power and economic differences – not just people feeling a financial squeeze at the end of the month but also eyeing the growing inequality between the elites and the working class all over France. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why we can’t stop debating whether Facebook sells data," 14 Dec. 2018 Leather was a valuable commodity at the time, and almost no one in the working class would have buried such an expensive pair of boots—not when they, or their material, could be reused. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Medieval skeleton’s boots reveal harsh realities of life on the Thames," 6 Dec. 2018 Year on year, in the U.S. and across the globe, staff from fulfillment centers to big-chain stores have staged walk-outs to campaign for better working conditions and wages over the peak period. Rebekka Ayres, Teen Vogue, "Black Friday, Explained: A Complete History," 23 Nov. 2018 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 Examples on the Web: Adjective

Although working-class Asians would bear the brunt of changes, no one at the mayor’s office apparently thought it necessary or worth the time to consult with Asian parents and community leaders ahead of time. Michael Li, Vox, "I support affirmative action. But Harvard really is hurting Asian Americans.," 18 Oct. 2018 The solidly blue 3rd Congressional District is largely middle and working class, taking in parts of the bungalow belt on the Southwest Side and stretching out into the south and southwest suburbs. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Morning Spin: 8 things to watch when primary election results come in Tuesday night," 20 Mar. 2018 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

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

16 Jan 2019

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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

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a complex dispute or argument

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