work·​out | \ ˈwərk-ˌau̇t How to pronounce workout (audio) \

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

worked out; working out; works 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

Translation: The circuit ends up being a sneaky cardio workout, too. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "This 4-Move Workout Works Your Whole Body—and All You Need Is a Step," 19 Apr. 2019 These headphones are designed to stick with you in even the toughest workouts. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "These massively popular Bluetooth sport headphones are only $17 today," 10 Oct. 2018 After players report to Philadelphia on July 25, the team will begin practicing the following day, with most of the team’s preseason workouts taking place at the team’s NovaCare Complex, across the street from Lincoln Financial Field. Mitchell Gladstone,, "Eagles announce training camp schedule, open practice dates," 11 July 2018 Steinbrenner thought the workout should have been mandatory. 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 July also summons athletes back to the gridiron and summer workouts for other fall sports. Shelby Dermer,, "Parents and athletes: How to spot and treat heat-related illnesses this summer," 3 July 2018 Then, the pain got worse and started to bother me during the workout. Dr. Harlan Selesnick, miamiherald, "'Frozen shoulder' a common injury from working out," 2 July 2018 Senior Xavier Griffin, who finished eighth in the 300 hurdles at the state meet, was one of the athletes who benefited from the combined workouts. Dave Melton, Post-Tribune, "Patrick's place: Merrillville's Patrick Coffey named the 2018 Post-Tribune Boys Track Coach of the Year," 26 June 2018 There was an early June group workout in Chicago that left the Kings and everyone else in the building impressed, as Porter Jr. shot the ball very well – albeit in a stand-still setting. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "Would Sacramento Kings seriously consider drafting Michael Porter Jr. at No. 2?," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

High-ranking officials from the two countries exchanged public threats and admonishments Wednesday, then met later that day to work out their differences. Courtney Mcbride, WSJ, "Dispute Mars Conclusion of NATO Anniversary Event in Washington," 4 Apr. 2019 While the politicians try to work out the details, Prince Charles is taking symbolic steps to assure that the two countries remain close. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Charles Makes a Post-Brexit Pledge to Visit All of Ireland's 32 Counties," 9 Mar. 2019 Neither side would release details of the agreement but said the current contract was extended into May to allow time to work out details and take ratification votes at national carrier YRC Freight and the company’s regional units. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Delivery on Demand; Trucking’s Labor Peace; Automotive Downshift," 22 Mar. 2019 Ezra Klein: Not just jokes, but like small-town clubs, as a place to work out material. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism," 12 Dec. 2018 The Micolino was first introduced in 2016, and it’s taken a few years to work out the logistical kinks of making such a small car road ready. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "The adorable Microlino car just got approved for European streets," 23 July 2018 The 6-foot-6, 220-pound point guard, who worked out for the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics, didn’t pay much attention to those who doubted his decision. Michael Osipoff, Post-Tribune, "Evanston grad Nojel Eastern 'living in the moment' at Purdue after NBA draft process," 14 July 2018 Putting the projects on hold in Boca will give the city time to work out a better maintenance agreement with the district, which could save some trees, Singer said. Marci Shatzman,, "Boca Raton wins delay on plan to remove trees near residents' homes," 11 July 2018 This is, emphatically, not a policy that works out well. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Will Kill Roe," 11 July 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

23 Apr 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 How to pronounce workout (audio) \

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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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