work·​man·​like | \ ˈwərk-mən-ˌlīk \

Definition of workmanlike

: characterized by the skill and efficiency typical of a good workman workmanlike thoroughness also : competent and skillful but not outstanding or original an adequate … reporter who turned out workmanlike copy — Tom Clancy

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of workmanlike in a Sentence

He did a workmanlike job on the boat. She showed workmanlike thoroughness in everything she did.

Recent Examples on the Web

Frankly, the plot is workmanlike and unmemorable, but the characters and the issues raised give the finale its heft. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Doctor Who wraps a solid season with its first female Time Lord," 12 Dec. 2018 Sweden is the ultimate in sort of a one-for-all, all-for-one sort of workmanlike group., "World Cup Daily Podcast: Just How Far Can England Go?," 3 July 2018 Uruguay booked their place in the last 16 of the World Cup with a workmanlike 2-1 victory over Portugal, aided by two excellent goals by Edinson Cavani., "Uruguay 2-1 Portugal: Cavani Shines While Ronaldo Fizzles as La Celeste Progress to Quarter Finals," 30 June 2018 But Pete Mitchell, the senator’s former chief of staff and longtime campaign manager, said the senator stacks up well against the workmanlike Scott. David Smiley And Alex Daugherty, miamiherald, "Bill Nelson has never been tested like this. But neither has Rick Scott. | Miami Herald," 9 Apr. 2018 When in base coverages, there’s a more level-headed, workmanlike approach from the cornerbacks, both of whom live in Winnetka. Steve Reaven,, "Carson Kosonovich, Donovan Perkins still shutting the door in New Trier secondary," 14 July 2018 Les Bleus had churned out a pair of workmanlike victories over Australia and Peru before settling for a torpid scoreless draw against Denmark. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "A Teenage Star Speeds France Past Argentina in World Cup," 30 June 2018 But both Nick Thornton's no-frills choreography and Robert Ollis's straight-ahead musical direction are fittingly—if unengagingly—workmanlike. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "Haymarket is a workmanlike ode to the working man," 28 June 2018 Salah did not play, and Egypt watched a workmanlike performance go to waste when Uruguay defender Jose Gimenez scored on a dramatic 89th-minute header to propel his team to a 1-0 victory at Ekaterinburg Arena. Andrew Keh And Victor Mather, New York Times, "World Cup Heartbreak for Egypt as Salah Sits and Team Falls," 16 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'workmanlike.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of workmanlike

1600, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about workmanlike

Share workmanlike

Dictionary Entries near workmanlike


work magic






Statistics for workmanlike

Last Updated

26 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for workmanlike

The first known use of workmanlike was in 1600

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on workmanlike

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with workmanlike

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for workmanlike

Spanish Central: Translation of workmanlike

Nglish: Translation of workmanlike for Spanish Speakers

Comments on workmanlike

What made you want to look up workmanlike? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!