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work·​out ˈwərk-ˌau̇t How to pronounce workout (audio)
: a practice or exercise to test or improve one's fitness for athletic competition, ability, or performance
: a test of one's ability, capacity, stamina, or suitability
: an undertaking or plan intended to resolve a problem of indebtedness especially in lieu of bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings

work out

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worked out; working out; works out

transitive verb

: to bring about by labor and exertion
work out your own salvationPhilippians 2:12 (King James Version)
: to solve (something, such as a problem) by a process of reasoning or calculation
: to devise, arrange, or achieve by resolving difficulties
after many years of wrangling, worked out a definite agreementA. A. Butkus
: develop
the final situation is not worked out with psychological profundityLeslie Rees
: to discharge (a debt) by labor
: to exhaust (something, such as a mine) by working

intransitive verb

: to prove effective, practicable, or suitable
how this will actually work out I don't knowMilton Kotler
: to amount to a total or calculated figure
used with at or to
: to engage in a workout
works out regularly at the gym

Example Sentences

Noun The team had a good workout at practice today. Her workout includes running on the treadmill and lifting weights. Verb by putting our heads together, we were able to work out the problem worked out a compromise between the warring factions
Recent Examples on the Web
This can look like incorporating a solid warm-up, increasing the duration of long runs slowly, or making sure your body is rested and hydrated before taking on a tough workout. Shauna Harrison, SELF, 3 Feb. 2023 These options can aid in recovery from an intense workout, keep you cool on summer days, and even help relieve fever symptoms, hot flashes, headaches, and more. Maggie O'neill, Health, 3 Feb. 2023 During their workouts together, Kate usually starts with a full-body workout of eight compound exercises. Jacqueline Tempera, Women's Health, 2 Feb. 2023 Days later, and now back in her native Los Angeles, Bieber attended a workout in a pair of padded Puma slides that resembled the casual coolness of a Birkenstock, but with slightly more edge. Laura Jackson, Vogue, 26 Jan. 2023 More from the crew here Tired of the gym but still want a workout? Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan. 2023 So, a four-furlong breeze in 48 seconds usually would be considered a good workout. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 24 Jan. 2023 Johnson met Durant and had a workout with him during a recruiting trip to the University of Texas this past summer. Rick Kretzschmar, Dallas News, 22 Jan. 2023 Sunday: Pound & Pour is a 45-minute workout followed by a social hour at Wild Barrel, 692 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos. San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Jan. 2023
But sometimes clever ideas just don’t work out as intended, or are unpopular regardless. Erik Kain, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 This incident, like all others, will work out in the end. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 24 Jan. 2023 The idea didn’t work out amid disagreements and because of the high volatility affecting the countries. Daniel Carvalho, Fortune, 22 Jan. 2023 High-level fitness trainers like Marcus Filly and Don Saladino work out at home, and no one is going to accuse them of slacking off on their routines. Brett Williams, Men's Health, 20 Jan. 2023 Key among them: Why has fitness culture become so influential when, as the book reports, just 20 percent of people in America work out regularly? Maggie Lange, Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2023 Bayless may have had a point – the NFL must now work out how to address the outcome of this game and the implications for the postseason – but his tone and timing led to much criticism. Nicole Kraft, The Conversation, 5 Jan. 2023 Harder to ponder still: how the Sharks and Rangers could work out the money. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 31 Dec. 2022 Sometimes things just don’t work out the way they were planned, especially in the world of college football. Orlando Sentinel, 26 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1534, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of workout was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near workout

Cite this Entry

“Workout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
work·​out ˈwər-ˌkau̇t How to pronounce workout (audio)
: a practice or exercise to test or improve one's fitness especially in athletics

work out

2 of 2 verb
: to bring about by effort or by clearing up difficulties
: solve
work out a math problem
: develop sense 2
work out a plan
: to be successful
our plans for reorganization worked out
: to perform athletic exercises to improve one's fitness
working out at the gym

Legal Definition


: an undertaking or plan intended to resolve a problem of indebtedness especially in lieu of bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings

More from Merriam-Webster on workout

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