work·​out | \ ˈwərk-ˌau̇t \

Definition of workout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a practice or exercise to test or improve one's fitness for athletic competition, ability, or performance
2 : a test of one's ability, capacity, stamina, or suitability
3 : an undertaking or plan intended to resolve a problem of indebtedness especially in lieu of bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings

work out


Definition of work out (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to bring about by labor and exertion work out your own salvation — Philippians 2:12 (King James Version)
b : to solve (something, such as a problem) by a process of reasoning or calculation
c : to devise, arrange, or achieve by resolving difficulties after many years of wrangling, worked out a definite agreement— A. A. Butkus
d : develop the final situation is not worked out with psychological profundity— Leslie Rees
2 : to discharge (a debt) by labor
3 : to exhaust (something, such as a mine) by working

intransitive verb

1a : to prove effective, practicable, or suitable how this will actually work out I don't know— Milton Kotler
b : to amount to a total or calculated figure used with at or to
2 : to engage in a workout works out regularly at the gym

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Examples of workout in a Sentence


The team had a good workout at practice today. Her workout includes running on the treadmill and lifting weights.


by putting our heads together, we were able to work out the problem worked out a compromise between the warring factions
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Many women get up before dawn to get a workout in or to savor a few minutes of alone time before the kids wake up. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Michelle Obama on Facing Criticism, Life After the White House, and Advice for Meghan Markle," 3 Dec. 2018 Not to get too graphic here, but toilets see a tougher workout than any other fixture in the house, especially when guests pull up a seat. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "15 Things to Do Around the House Before the Holidays," 16 Nov. 2018 McNair died on June 13, two weeks after collapsing on the field during a preseason workout. David Ginsburg, The Seattle Times, "Report: Maryland football not ‘toxic,’ but has problems," 25 Oct. 2018 Quest's inside-out tracking got a real workout here, compared to the relatively empty spaces of the other demos. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Hands-on: Oculus Quest is an intriguing new middle ground for VR," 27 Sep. 2018 Hurns, Thompson and Lenoir all posted pictures on social media of the foursome together after a workout Wednesday. Clarence E. Hill Jr., star-telegram, "Wishing upon a star: QB Dak Prescott working out, bonding with Cowboys WRs at Disney," 12 July 2018 The last straw may have come on April 22, when only four Yankees on the roster showed up at the Stadium for a voluntary workout on an off day. Tom Verducci,, "Nine Innings: How Bryce Harper Is Trying to Revive His Season, What We Learned in the First Half and More," 9 July 2018 Thomas didn’t visit with the Pistons at the scouting combine in Chicago, and never visited Auburn Hills for a predraft workout. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons will unveil 'pit bulls' during NBA summer league," 5 July 2018 Richardson came to Boise State after the scout that put him on the Royals' radar called then-assistant Jeff Choate and got Richardson a workout. Dave Southorn, idahostatesman, "Boise State baseball's first assistant coach is a former Bronco football player," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Trying to work out exactly where the Nokia 8.1 fits into HMD’s smartphone lineup is a challenge, given the back-and-forth naming conventions and the fact that many of its phones don’t end up making their way to the West. Jon Porter, The Verge, "HMD’s budget Nokia 8.1 comes with Android Pie and an HDR-equipped display," 5 Dec. 2018 As an alternate, Pursinger is allowed to work out during batting practice but can only play in the game if either starter Griffin Doersching (Hamilton Joes/Northern Kentucky University) or reserve Blake Holub (Southern Ohio Copperheads/St. Scott Springer,, "Six Cincinnati Steam players recognized as All-Stars," 11 July 2018 Glover's team attempted to work out another split over the royalties, another source says, but after the dispute was dragged out one of his attorneys sent a demand for $1.5 million to the label to be delivered by July 6. Dan Rys, Billboard, "Glassnote Files Complaint to Resolve Contract Dispute With Donald Glover Over $700K in Royalties," 10 July 2018 If passed, the bill would sunset ICE within one year, then create a bipartisan group to work out a replacement. Jeff Stein And David Weigel,, "Democrats ready 'Abolish ICE' legislation that would shutter agency, shift immigration law enforcement," 10 July 2018 Last spring, Kemp and amateur scout Jake Koening hung back in the Dominican Republic to continue working out with Cuban signee Osvaldo Hernandez while his paperwork got sorted out as the rest of the Padres’ international prospects reported to camp. Jeff Sanders,, "How the Padres found 'special' Dominican prospect in own backyard," 4 July 2018 But each utility was left to work out new methods with its own state regulators. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "History of power outages riles metro Detroiters, DTE promises fixes," 28 June 2018 But thanks to Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and many (many!) more during the Spring 2018 shows, the fashion world has finally gotten the memo: sneakers aren't just for running errands or working out. Rajni Lucienne Jacques, Teen Vogue, "How to Get Away With Wearing Sneakers to All Your Holiday Parties," 17 Dec. 2018 And getting people to talk to me and finding ways to get people to ... to find fault lines between or inside organizations and work out how to leverage pieces of information. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Axios’ Jonathan Swan explains what the press gets wrong about the Trump administration," 6 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of workout


1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1534, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for workout

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for workout

The first known use of workout was in 1534

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More Definitions for workout



English Language Learners Definition of workout

: a period of physical exercise that you do in order to improve your fitness, ability, or performance


work·​out | \ ˈwərk-ˌau̇t \

Kids Definition of workout

: an exercise or practice to test or improve ability or performance



Legal Definition of workout

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on workout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with workout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for workout

Spanish Central: Translation of workout

Nglish: Translation of workout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of workout for Arabic Speakers

Comments on workout

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


to gather or build up little by little

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