Thesaurus

work

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of work

(Entry 1 of 2)

2 to find an answer for through reasoning
  • finally figured out how to work the math problem

Synonyms for work

Words Related to work

3 to have a certain purpose
  • the human kidneys work as a filtering system for the blood

Synonyms for work

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4 to produce a desired effect
  • this headache remedy takes half an hour to work

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Phrases Synonymous with work

Near Antonyms for work

5 to set or keep in motion
  • this pump is worked by hand

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6 to control the mechanical operation of
  • show me how to work the machine

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8 to take unfair advantage of
  • a young boy who worked his aunt for all she was worth in toys and candy when she visited once a year

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Phrases Synonymous with work

work

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of work (Entry 2 of 2)

1 a literary, musical, or artistic production
  • unfortunately, many of her works are now out of print

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2 something produced by physical or intellectual effort
  • the new Web application is the work of a pair of young but highly gifted programmers

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3 the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used or for which a thing exists
  • the work of a movie director is to tell a story through a series of striking images

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4 the active use of energy in producing a result
  • put a lot of work into the project

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5 the activity by which one regularly makes a living
  • what line of work are you in?

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6 works plural a building or set of buildings for the manufacturing of goods
  • a glass works where high quality glassware is made

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About work

How does the noun work contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of work are drudgery, grind, labor, toil, and travail. While all these words mean "activity involving effort or exertion," work may imply activity of body, of mind, of a machine, or of a natural force.

too tired to do any work

In what contexts can drudgery take the place of work?

The meanings of drudgery and work largely overlap; however, drudgery suggests dull and irksome labor.

an editorial job with a good deal of drudgery

When might grind be a better fit than work?

The synonyms grind and work are sometimes interchangeable, but grind implies labor exhausting to mind or body.

the grind of the assembly line

When could labor be used to replace work?

The words labor and work are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, labor applies to physical or intellectual work involving great and often strenuous exertion.

farmers demanding fair compensation for their labor

When is toil a more appropriate choice than work?

The words toil and work can be used in similar contexts, but toil implies prolonged and fatiguing labor.

his lot would be years of back-breaking toil

When is it sensible to use travail instead of work?

Although the words travail and work have much in common, travail is bookish for labor involving pain or suffering.

years of travail were lost when the house burned

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Time Traveler for work

Time Traveler

The first known use of work was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Work.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/work. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on work

Dictionary: Definition of work

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with work

Spanish Central: Translation of work

Nglish: Translation of work for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of work for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about work

Comments on work

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