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

Adjective There is a good working relationship between the departments. the working parts of the machine
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a curiously clandestine move, State Superintendent Eric Mackey dropped the draft resolution on board members during Thursday’s working session without adding it to the agenda. Roy S. Johnson |, al, 15 June 2021 In fact, many of today's working moms spend more time with their children than moms from previous generations who didn't work outside their home. Elissa Strauss, CNN, 15 June 2021 One group in particular has already dropped out of the workforce in record numbers: working mothers. Sam Dean, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2021 Chemtool — which lists Rockton as its headquarters, but also has offices in China, Belgium, Singapore and the U.K. — produces greases, lubricants, metal working fluids and cleaners, among other products. NBC News, 14 June 2021 Sophia McCully, a 28-year-old working in public policy research, has worked from home ever since starting her current role., 14 June 2021 And remote working would be here to stay for awhile, if many had their preference, even as the pandemic eases. Anthony Salvanto, CBS News, 14 June 2021 The hotel is also now offering extended stay programs for summer vacation or remote working and learning from paradise with the Make Yourself at Home Package. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 14 June 2021 But who has to come back to work — and when and where — is proving fraught as millions of workers face having a new way of living and working ripped away by managers requiring them to show up in person, or else. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Some 36,000 customers were still without power on Friday, including Gertrudis Calderón, who lives in a working-class neighborhood in the capital of San Juan. DÁnica Coto, Star Tribune, 11 June 2021 She’s a very working-class, very unfashionable, very angry human being. Alex Barasch, The New Yorker, 5 June 2021 In the same way that Donald Trump connected with many working-class Americans who felt left behind by globalization, Mr. López Obrador has created a bond with the poor in Mexico who felt democracy and free trade had failed to improve their lives. David Luhnow, WSJ, 4 June 2021 Or a working-class person behind the wheel of a Prius? Brad Polumbo, National Review, 4 June 2021 The Coalition’s surprise win can be attributed to overlooked and underpolled white working-class voters in rural regions, particularly in the northeastern Australian state of Queensland. Toby Jaffe, The New Republic, 2 June 2021 Steven Mewha, 36, grew up in a working-class Irish Scottish family in Philadelphia and is now a lawyer in Hawaii. NBC News, 30 May 2021 Cassidy lived in a beige stucco house with pale green trim in a working-class San Jose neighborhood near the 101 Freeway. Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2021 From its earliest days, New York’s subway has rumbled across neighborhoods at all hours, carrying poor and working-class riders to their jobs at factories, hotels and restaurants. New York Times, 17 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for working

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for working

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Working.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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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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