work·​man·​like ˈwərk-mən-ˌlīk How to pronounce workmanlike (audio)
: 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

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 The scale is ceremonial, but materials such as those structural columns painted white are workmanlike and efficient. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Apr. 2023 Price was more workmanlike, coming out of the furnace of L.A.’s inner-city gyms. Matthew Allan, Rolling Stone, 4 Feb. 2023 What everyone made sure to add, though, was his workmanlike approach to the position. Andrew Gillis, cleveland, 10 Jan. 2023 As such, even as some bleary-eyed supporters tumbled happily into downtown Columbus early Wednesday morning, the proceedings were often more workmanlike than entirely rollicking. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, 9 Nov. 2022 The surging Johnson put on a workmanlike effort in advancing to the semifinals. oregonlive, 15 July 2022 Bogeys on five of the final eight holes by Faldo enabled Strange to employ his workmanlike game and bask in the sunshine. Jim McCabe,, 10 June 2022 Texas coach Chris Beard, a rising star in the profession, improved to 5-0 in first-round games as his No. 6 Longhorns posted a workmanlike 81-73 win over a tough 11th-seeded Virginia Tech squad. Jim Litke, ajc, 19 Mar. 2022 The show demystifies him in the workmanlike way that today’s cinematic universes inevitably treat their bit players: by turning them into boring old heroes. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 6 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'workmanlike.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of workmanlike was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near workmanlike

Cite this Entry

“Workmanlike.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


work·​man·​like ˈwərk-mən-ˌlīk How to pronounce workmanlike (audio)
: worthy of a good worker
did a workmanlike job on the boat

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