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

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

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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 National Philharmonic began life in 1983 as the Montgomery County Chamber Orchestra, founded by Piotr Gajewski, a workmanlike conductor who remains the National Philharmonic’s artistic director. Washington Post, "National Philharmonic bows out abruptly," 16 July 2019 But there was nothing workmanlike about the looks, which were calculated casual. Thomas Adamson And Colleen Barry,, "What (the runways say) guys will be wearing for summer 2020," 24 June 2019 But his legend will tell of an artist who had all the shots while simultaneously making things look simple much of the time, something the more workmanlike Roddick noted. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Roger Federer: The power and presence of the $120 million man," 27 June 2019 If Mosse’s prose can be workmanlike, her plotting and pacing are impeccable. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A lush tale of love and hate and religion and politics," 20 June 2019 This workmanlike quality lends the fights a certain grit, a punishing realism, that’s absent when a martial artist goes to work, and Wick’s progress evokes at times the doggedness of Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, another hardworking action hero. Ross Douthat, National Review, "Keanu Reeves’ Dance with Death in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum," 20 June 2019 A month ago StreetLights unveiled plans for a workmanlike apartment tower that would stand on the corner of Oak Lawn and Lemmon avenues. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Oak Lawn tower plan pays homage to Dallas' long-lost Esquire Theater," 6 June 2019 Much of it, alas, is workmanlike stuff to sell to the many tourists who come in the summer to visit the lake and Niagara Falls. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "From Ontario, Cool-Climate Wines of Beauty and Vision," 16 Jan. 2018 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

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.

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First Known Use of workmanlike

1600, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near workmanlike


work magic






Statistics for workmanlike

Last Updated

25 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for workmanlike

The first known use of workmanlike was in 1600

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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).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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