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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Their empire may supply your toilet paper, the beef for your steaks, and the spandex in your workout clothes. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "This is the Koch Brothers empire," 23 Aug. 2019 Dwight Howard will headline the list of centers joining Los Angeles for a workout, per Wojnarowski. Michael Shapiro,, "Report: Lakers Planning Workouts for Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard, Mo Speights," 20 Aug. 2019 Model duo Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber proved as much earlier today, when they were spotted after a Los Angeles Pilates class with a twinning hair solution for sweaty strands post-workout. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber Have a Twinning Hair Moment Post-Pilates," 19 Aug. 2019 For a heart-pumping workout, trek up Piestewa Peak. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "100 free things to do in metro Phoenix," 17 Aug. 2019 Hicks-Onu sustained a knee injury in January of 2018 during a workout, knocking him out for coach Jonathan Smith’s entire first season., "Oregon State safety Omar Hicks-Onu won’t let a one-year absence dampen his spirit: Day 8 recap," 9 Aug. 2019 Selfies could have a vital health purpose beyond simply boosting your self-confidence or showing off your post-workout gains. Fox News, "Selfies could measure your blood pressure, scientists discover," 8 Aug. 2019 The biggest change, the coach said, is the pro lifestyle: sessions that can last five hours with running and rehab, more intense workouts, fewer races, better diet. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "After sputtering for months, Pike's Lynna Irby hunts medals at Pan Am Games," 3 Aug. 2019 Do any mid-workout wiping with the back of your hand. Scott Douglas, Washington Post, "Your gym is teeming with invisible members: Germs. Here’s how to avoid them.," 29 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Friedman’s theory in question A half-century later, Friedman’s theory about the eventual benefits to society of shareholder capitalism hasn’t worked out that way. Bruce Deboskey, The Denver Post, "On Philanthropy: In the eyes of business leaders, “social purpose” has replaced “shareholder capitalism”," 8 Sep. 2019 But in the footage above, that arrangement doesn't appear to be working out. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "A New Sneak Peek of the Downton Abbey Movie Shows Lady Mary Telling Carson "I Need Your Help"," 7 Sep. 2019 There were early employees who could have been potential co-founders, but that did not work out. Itika Sharma Punit, Quartz India, "A former Indian Goldman Sachs executive is building the “Netflix of furniture”," 29 Aug. 2019 Navajo officials had hoped to piece together a deal to save the plant, but that did not work out. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Last coal train rolls to Arizona power plant as closure looms for major polluter," 26 Aug. 2019 Sadly, the idea didn't work out, probably because the Queen decided that the castle wasn't the best place to raise a young, growing family. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Reportedly Wanted to Live in Windsor Castle with the Queen Instead of Frogmore Cottage," 18 Aug. 2019 Kuzma could play some minutes as a small-ball center, but that didn’t work out so well last season, and the relatively slender 6-foot-9 wing can’t bang quite as well as Davis can. Kyle Goon, Orange County Register, "Purple & Bold: DeMarcus Cousins’ injury opens a can of worms for the Lakers," 16 Aug. 2019 And a lawyer for the governor promised the Ethics Commission that Justice would soon add The Greenbrier, among other businesses, to the list, as soon as agreements could be worked out with various lenders. Ken Ward Jr., ProPublica, "Welcome to the Greenbrier, the Governor-Owned Luxury Resort Filled With Conflicts of Interest," 15 Aug. 2019 To absorb Kashmir into India, the architects of the federal constitution and local Kashmiri leaders spent years working out an unwieldy joint legal system. The Economist, "India abruptly ends the last special protection enjoyed by Kashmir," 6 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of workout


1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1534, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about workout

Statistics for workout

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for workout

The first known use of workout was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!