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 addition to treacherous weather and dangerous working conditions, COVID-19 also posted a challenge to the group. Claire Rafford, The Indianapolis Star, 21 July 2021 But working conditions are notoriously poor, experts said, with potentially long hours, low pay and poor safety. Washington Post, 18 July 2021 Kelly Martin, the president of Grassroots Wildland Firefighters, a group that advocates for better pay and working conditions for federal firefighters, said the problem has left critical positions empty. Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2021 Overall, Everlane claims to work with factories that score higher than 90 on criteria around fair wages, hours, and working conditions. Esha Chhabra, Forbes, 27 June 2021 The shortage became even worse during the pandemic given the low wages and working conditions that exposed hands-on providers to the virus. Suzy Khimm, NBC News, 26 June 2021 Some workers are leaving for new jobs, with better pay or remote-friendly working conditions. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 21 June 2021 Some say the labor shortage is nothing that can't be solved the old-fashioned way: By raising pay and offering more generous benefits and working conditions. Paul Wiseman, Star Tribune, 5 June 2021 Some say the labor shortage is nothing that can’t be solved the old-fashioned way: By raising pay and offering more generous benefits and working conditions. Paul Wiseman, ajc, 5 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But Sobol, who grew up with her mother and sister in a working-class exurb of Moscow, got hooked on a Soviet miniseries based on the Sherlock Holmes stories. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 Gang warfare in Port-au-Prince, the capital, has forced thousands of poor and working-class people from their neighborhoods, according to the United Nations. Kathie Klarreich, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 July 2021 And it’s being built in a largely dense and working-class area, away from the county’s upscale neighborhoods. Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2021 Springsteen took the stage and told his story of a childhood full of working-class stiffs. Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021 To help deal with the widespread devastation, a group of volunteers rushed to the collapsed houses and buildings across the city, and particularly to a working-class neighborhood to help overwhelmed authorities search for and rescue victims. Washington Post, 29 June 2021 The film is a portrait of a working-class Black lesbian whose trailblazing commitment to creating a safe space for Black and LGBTQ+ communities was monumental. Emily Maskell, Vulture, 22 June 2021 Meantime, House Democratic candidates underperformed Mr. Biden slightly among white working-class voters. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, 28 June 2021 This political status, moreover, seems to have been implicitly racialized; U.S. political discussion of the Bahamian economy tended to emphasize, either directly or indirectly, the poverty of its working-class Black majority. Joseph Thorndike, Forbes, 24 June 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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Dictionary Entries Near working

work in


working asset

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Statistics for working

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Working.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on working

Nglish: Translation of working for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of working for Arabic Speakers


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