1 of 3

noun (1)

work·​up ˈwərk-ˌəp How to pronounce workup (audio)
: an intensive diagnostic study especially for medical purposes


2 of 3

noun (2)

: an unintended mark on a printed sheet caused by the rising of spacing material

work up

3 of 3


worked up; working up; works up

transitive verb

: to stir up : rouse
: to produce by mental or physical work
worked up a comedy act
worked up a sweat in the gym

intransitive verb

: to rise gradually in intensity or emotional tone

Example Sentences

Verb spent years working up a period novel that was historically accurate in every detail
Recent Examples on the Web
If a child hasn’t had a GI workup, many neurologists will make a referral in order to rule out other possible causes, such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and cyclic vomiting syndrome. Risa Kerslake, Discover Magazine, 12 Feb. 2022 Colleagues then took the kittens a short distance away and did a workup — which involves a physical exam, where body measurements are recorded, and attaching an ear tag — before the mother returned. Salvador Hernandezstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Dec. 2022 Based on a 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000, one of the prettiest coupes to issue from a Milanese factory, this one has been treated to a full workup from U.K.-based firm Alfaholics. Brendan Mcaleer, Car and Driver, 23 Nov. 2022 Each dog is given a physical workup including blood work to ensure there are no underlying health issues. Fox News, 13 Aug. 2022 After a medical workup, the dogs are placed in foster homes. Meg Dunn, CNN, 28 July 2022 Yet, papilledema is challenging to diagnose without an ophthalmologist’s examination because more clinical data, including imaging of the brain and visual acuity, are often necessary as part of the workup. George Maliha, Scientific American, 29 June 2022 Patients who come to the emergency department with abdominal pain often get an ultrasound as part of their diagnostic workup – especially if the pain is localized to the right upper abdomen. Dr. Michael Daignault, USA TODAY, 2 June 2022 This fragmented analysis makes performing a full genetic workup during pregnancy nearly impossible. Haim Neerman, Forbes, 7 June 2022
In China, workers are allowed to work up to eight hours a day, with three additional hours of overtime, and are promised at least one day off a week. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 6 Dec. 2022 So while a few of the end-of-the-bench veterans are able to work up a lather before games last week on the practice court, Cain had to await his permission slip from Butler. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 24 Oct. 2022 Folks looking to burn a few calories and work up their Thanksgiving appetite are invited to take part in the second annual Tom-A-Hawk Turkey Trot – a 5K run that will be held on Nov. 19 beginning at 9 a.m. in Aurora. David Sharos, Chicago Tribune, 10 Nov. 2022 Plenty of outdoor exploration tends to work up an appetite, and fortunately, New Smyrna Beach is loaded with top-tier restaurants. Jared Ranahan, Travel + Leisure, 30 Mar. 2022 Federal officials have set a goal of thinning work up to 50 million acres of land over the next decade. Jim Carlton, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2022 Current federal rules allow flight attendants to work up to 14 hours in a day and get nine hours of rest between shifts. David Koenig, USA TODAY, 5 Oct. 2022 Current federal rules allow flight attendants to work up to 14 hours in a day and get nine hours of rest between shifts. David Koenig,, 4 Oct. 2022 Current federal rules allow flight attendants to work up to 14 hours in a day and get nine hours of rest between shifts. David Koenig, Chicago Tribune, 4 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1939, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1903, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of workup was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near workup

Cite this Entry

“Workup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

work up

: to stir up
worked up support for the project
: to produce by mental or physical work
worked up a sweat at the gym

Medical Definition


1 of 2 noun
work·​up ˈwər-ˌkəp How to pronounce workup (audio)
: an intensive diagnostic study
a gastrointestinal workup
a psychiatric workup

work up

2 of 2 transitive verb
: to perform a diagnostic workup upon
work up a patient
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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