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

The Ivy League university has told the court that releasing the files would be an unprecedented breach of its inner workings. Washington Post, "Suit alleging bias pulls back curtain on Harvard admissions," 9 July 2018 Superintending a mine required knowing how to bore, sink, stope, and ventilate underground workings, pump water, and hoist ore. Gregory Crouch, Time, "Mark Twain Claimed He Got His Pen Name From a Riverboat Captain. He May Have Actually Gotten It in a Saloon," 19 June 2018 The film captures not only the inner workings of the club, but also of an era. David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle, "A sneak preview of the Frameline film fest lineup," 6 June 2018 Her account of its working can at times feel bleak. Gabriel Winant, The New Republic, "Barbara Ehrenreich’s radical critique of wellness and self-improvement," 23 May 2018 Lies, untruths, and distortions of truth plague its workings. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Pomfret School Alumni Share Thoughts On Trump, Putin, Jinping," 21 May 2018 How does working in television compare to working in movies? Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Film / Television An interview with cinematographer turned director Ernest Dickerson," 22 June 2018 President Donald Trump plans to meet Queen Elizabeth II next month while on a working trip to the United Kingdom. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "President Trump Will Meet Queen Elizabeth Next Month," 20 June 2018 Police have said the working theory is that their exposure was linked to the earlier Novichok attack in March on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury. NBC News, "U.K. man exposed to Novichok is now conscious," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

New Jersey’s 11th District: A wealthy suburban district in the north of the state, the 11th District is in some ways the flip side of the more working-class Second. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Three of the most competitive House races in the country are in New Jersey.," 4 June 2018 Consider an example of how this bright idea would be detrimental for a working class 17-year-old with a part-time job at a deli that helps supplement their family’s income. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Why It Matters That the Trump Administration Is Reportedly Trying to Loosen Child Labor Laws," 15 May 2018 The American actress set to marry Prince Harry May 19 spent her formative years in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood, a more working-class place than its famous name suggests. Meghan Markle, Fox News, "Meghan Markle's 'humble' pre-Hollywood beginnings revealed," 9 May 2018 But there’s another side to the public-sector-union equation, a side that reveals the unintended consequences that fall most disastrously on America’s poor and working-class people. Will Swaim, National Review, "Civil Service and Civil Rights Are Not Synonymous," 16 Feb. 2018 But a working definition of internet addiction serves as a useful lens through which to view most technology pathologies. Vivek Wadhwa And Alex Salkever, WIRED, "How Can We Make Technology Healthier for Humans?," 26 June 2018 Law enforcement officers took a working coffee break to chat about community issues and build relationships with Ramonans during a Coffee with a Cop session in Starbucks on June 12. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Officers host Coffee with a Cop," 19 June 2018 Trump said more working-level meetings among aides would begin soon as the two sides hammer out details on how to move forward over denuclearization talks. Washington Post,, "Little mention of human rights at Trump-Kim summit," 13 June 2018 Trump said more working-level meetings among aides would begin soon as the two sides hammer out details on how to move forward over denuclearization talks. David Nakamura,, "Once forceful on North Korean human rights abuses, Trump is mostly mum during summit with Kim," 12 June 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

25 Sep 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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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