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

The Texans star covered topics about both his professional and personal life, including the key to his workouts, his favorite Houston restaurant and his favorite thing about Texas. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "J.J. Watt gets candid about Kealia Ohai, the Astros and food during Instagram Q&A with fans," 9 July 2019 My workout routine included both free weights and machines, along with interval training on a stationary bike. Andrea Pitzer, Outside Online, "I (Kinda) Hate Running," 9 July 2019 In fact, evidence suggests that a better bar to aim for is that your workout be pleasant. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "Overindulge this weekend? This 'Summer Mondays' routine will help you hit the reset button," 8 July 2019 The 40-room, much-acclaimed retreat on the waterside at a pretty bend in Lake Austin has deepened its culinary offerings and intensified its water workouts, including yoga on the lake lotus, an eight-station interconnected floating docking station. Connie Dufner, Dallas News, "Time to spa-tify: Wind down in style at Miraval Austin," 8 July 2019 Andrés announces, with Wildean hauteur, when his friends mock his horrible boyfriend’s workout Instas. Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker, "Off-Kilter Humor on “Los Espookys” and “Alternatino”," 1 July 2019 There were shouts courtside before games when scouts scribble notes and study players during their pregame workouts. Dan Woike,, "Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving agree to join Nets as NBA free agency opens," 30 June 2019 Until this month, Rousteing had to jet to Milan to take part in one of his preferred workouts, Barry’s Bootcamp. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Olivier Rousteing Unveils a Partnership with Barry’s Bootcamp," 21 June 2019 Ty Jerome had just finished his pre-draft workout with the Indiana Pacers. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns: Five things to know about Ty Jerome," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Most of his current players have rubbed elbows with the major league eight, who return to the Poway campus to visit with the coaching staff and to work out at the baseball complex. Pomerado News, "Bob Parry respected for teaching ‘the Poway way’," 3 July 2019 While the complicated details of some of the contracts (including Butler's deal) are still being worked out, the forward is going to a be member of the Heat for the foreseeable future. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "LeBron, Durant and Butler among major misses in Rockets free agency history," 2 July 2019 Windler was the first college prospect brought to Cleveland to work out prior to the draft after the Cavs hired coach John Beilein. Terry Pluto,, "Cavaliers & NBA Scribbles: Cavs payroll, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Terry Rozier — Terry Pluto," 1 July 2019 Veleno is headed into his first year of pro hockey, and will remain in the Detroit area to work out with a group that includes Filip Zadina, Dylan Larkin and Luke Glendening. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Takeaways from Detroit Red Wings development camp: Swede-on-Swede fights," 30 June 2019 Although much of the knowledge of their capabilities and determinations about the asteroid were was worked out after the fact, astronomers believe that ATLAS and Pan-STARRS could help predict more in the future. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "On International Asteroid Day, here's what to know about the threat to Earth," 30 June 2019 Jimmy Butler agreed to a four-year $140 million deal that will send him to Miami, though the Heat and the 76ers were still working out details of the sign-and-trade in a meeting Sunday night. Tim Reynolds,, "NBA spending spree begins with big bucks to big stars," 30 June 2019 EVs don’t produce any engine noise, so companies have been working out how to give them some sort of sound profile, either to warn pedestrians of their presence, or to reassure drivers who miss the sound of a gas engine. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Hans Zimmer designed the sound for BMW’s futuristic concept car," 29 June 2019 Biegun’s remarks come as North Korea is escalating its calls for Washington to work out new proposals to salvage deadlocked nuclear diplomacy. Washington Post, "Seoul: US ready for talks with N Korea on denuclearization," 28 June 2019

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

16 Jul 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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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