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


There is a good working relationship between the departments. the working parts of the machine

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That includes fees from Goldman, which made $593 million working on three bond sales that raised $6.5 billion for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013 -- dwarfing what banks typically make from government deals. Shamim Adam, Washington Post, "How Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal Shook the Financial World," 18 Sep. 2019 There's a feeling of pride that comes with working and earning a paycheck. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Food truck serves mac and cheese to guests and careers to disabled adults," 14 Sep. 2019 Evans-Bye said, in all, there were 16 Ventura divers along with the ROV working that day. Andrew J. Campa, Glendale News-Press, "Clark Magnet teacher, sheriff’s volunteer aids in Conception tragedy recovery efforts," 13 Sep. 2019 There is a seemingly working bathroom, front and rear exterior doors and even a patio with a hedge and grill out back., "The 6 hottest Chicago shows to see right now," 13 Sep. 2019 My goal is to oversee a step change in New Category growth and significantly simplify our current ways of working and business processes, whilst delivering long-term sustainable returns for our shareholders. David Meyer, Fortune, "Tobacco Industry Choices: CEO Daily," 12 Sep. 2019 Most of Bender Daaboul’s clients are students or young working professionals between 25 and 40. Real Estate, "Millennials and students are swiping right on luxury furniture rentals," 11 Sep. 2019 But little has penetrated the industry’s operations, and as a workforce that cuts across class from the one percent to the working-poor, models remain atomized. Isabel Cristo, The New Republic, "Fashion Week’s Labor Problem Is Our Labor Problem," 11 Sep. 2019 The Fresnel lens is in good working shape, even though Wilson said errant geese have crashed through windows in the tower twice and slightly damaged some of the many pieces of ground glass that make up the lens. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "To get to the 150-year-old Cana Island Lighthouse, you have to ride a wagon through Lake Michigan," 6 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Chairo is associated with being poorer or more working class — and darker-skinned. Alejandro Maciel, Los Angeles Times, "For Mexicans in the U.S., the president of their homeland makes for spirited debate and begrudging silence," 14 Sep. 2019 Workers took an unpaid day to protest against working conditions that regularly included 10-hour days and six day work weeks. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894," 2 Sep. 2019 The group also claimed that O’Neill has failed to adequately address the working conditions of police officers, including quality-of-life issues and mental health support. NBC News, "NYC police union votes 'no confidence' in Mayor Bill de Blasio," 28 Aug. 2019 The matter is complicated by the fact that the working conditions of the men and women are collectively bargained separately. Peter Schmuck,, "Schmuck: U.S. Women's World Cup journey has even captured the imagination of this non-soccer fan," 7 July 2019 Pilot unions representing flight crew at Atlas Air have said increased flying for Amazon has contributed to a personnel shortage and deteriorating working conditions. Doug Cameron, WSJ, "Amazon Rents More Jets to Expand Next-Day Delivery," 18 June 2019 The safety of firefighters and their working conditions is the highest priority. Ana Goni-lessan, Houston Chronicle, "Kingwood firefighters return to Station 101 after Houston finishes $33K renovation," 14 June 2019 But the working philosophy of this team should be the same this rebuilding season. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: Youth is served on Dolphins’ offensive line — is QB position next? | Commentary," 3 Aug. 2019 But at the end of the day, but Joe’s is king, considered by many the nation’s best, serving up amazing sandwiches and ribs to die for – all in a working gas station. Larry Olmstead, USA TODAY, "Great American Bites BBQ road trip: The country's best regional barbecue joints," 9 July 2019

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

9 Oct 2019

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 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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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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to be made up of

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