: activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something:
: activity that a person engages in regularly to earn a livelihood
people looking for work
: a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity
: sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result
: one's place of employment
didn't go to work today
: something produced or accomplished by effort, exertion, or exercise of skill
this book is the work of many hands
: something produced by the exercise of creative talent or expenditure of creative effort : artistic production
an early work by a major writer
: something that results from a particular manner or method of working, operating, or devising
careful police work
clever camera work
: something that results from the use or fashioning of a particular material
works plural: structures in engineering (such as docks, bridges, or embankments) or mining (such as shafts or tunnels)
: a fortified structure (such as a fort, earthen barricade, or trench)
works plural in form but singular or plural in construction: a place where industrial labor is carried on : plant, factory
works plural: the working or moving parts of a mechanism
the works of a clock
: everything possessed, available, or belonging
the whole works, rod, reel, tackle box, went overboard
ordered pizza with the works
: subjection to drastic treatment : all possible abuse—usually used with get or give
get the works
gave them the works
: the transference of energy that is produced by the motion of the point of application of a force and is measured by multiplying the force and the displacement of its point of application in the line of action
work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not.
her work as a hospital volunteer
employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer.
your employment with this firm is hereby terminated
occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training.
his occupation as a trained auto mechanic
calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession.
the ministry seemed my true calling
pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest.
her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit
métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted.
acting was my one and only métier
business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs.
the business of managing a hotel
Examples of work in a Sentence
I started working when I was sixteen.
She works part-time at the restaurant.
She has always wanted to work in advertising.
She has to work two jobs to support her family.
She worked through lunch to get the report done.
I'm not working tomorrow—the boss gave me the day off.
He works about 60 hours a week.
The job requires that you work some nights and weekends.
She is used to working long hours.
She works the Northeast region of the state selling insurance. Noun
She is trying to find work in publishing.
How long have you been looking for work?
He started work as a car salesman.
I know him through work.
She didn't come to work today.
He left work a few minutes ago.
She's not here right now. She's at work.
She went out with her friends from work.
Can you describe your work to the class?
A large part of the work is responding to e-mails. Adjective
What does your work schedule look like this week? See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The two worked together to create the product, which served as a way to protect livestock on their land.—Brittany Kasko, Fox News, 24 Nov. 2023 Mitchell runs her business while working three nights a week as a veterinarian at a 24-hour emergency hospital.—Curtis Bunn, NBC News, 23 Nov. 2023 Oceanside has been working on the project for more than 20 years and has held community meetings to publicize it and gather opinions.—Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Nov. 2023 One of those people was Butler, 32, who has worked with Fine since his days as a Nickelodeon child star.—Carly Tagen-Dye, Peoplemag, 23 Nov. 2023 Our favorite part about the DualSense controller is the way the haptic feedback works.—Louryn Strampe, WIRED, 23 Nov. 2023 In a town hit by drought, young Estrella, a water diviner, works with her father, in charge of water distribution to the community.—Pablo Sandoval, Variety, 23 Nov. 2023 The team is working on comparing red wines that have a lot of quercetin like shiraz with those that do not have as much to test their theory that quercetin is truly behind red wine headaches on people.—Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 23 Nov. 2023 Buena Park Medieval Times workers voted to unionize last November, citing low wages and a desire to improve working conditions, including better treatment of animals involved in the show.—Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2023
Subterranean work could proceed at minimal risk, engineering experts said, but the project would still put thousands of employees, costly pieces of equipment and sprawling construction sites within reach of Ukrainian missiles.—Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 The bag brand founded by Shay Mitchell makes some of our favorite travel gear—diaper bags, work totes, and laptop backpacks—but rarely holds a sale.—Brigitt Earley, Glamour, 24 Nov. 2023 Newcomers include characters played by Juno Temple and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Venom 3 was originally set to hit theaters July 12, 2024, but was pushed back to Nov. 8, 2024, when the strike ended to give it more time to finish shooting and complete postproduction work.—Christy Piña, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Nov. 2023 Title is a painter who has been hosting exhibitions of her work since 1997.—Keith Langston, Peoplemag, 23 Nov. 2023 The proceeds are being used to broaden its collection with works by women, people of color, and LGBTQ and disabled artists.—Tony Perrottet, Travel + Leisure, 23 Nov. 2023 Optimism, persistence, tenacity and hard work are usually required.—Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2023 Advertisement The studio’s work include Ironside Fish and Oysters, Morning Glory, Raised by Wolves, Polite Provisions, Puesto in Mission Valley, Le Parfait Paris Cafe, West Bean Coffee Shop, Encontro Restaurant and Kindred Bar and Restaurant, among others.—Roxana Becerril, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Nov. 2023 The Diocese of Tyler announced his removal in a statement Saturday, adding that its work would continue.—Brie Stimson, Fox News, 12 Nov. 2023
Most often, these non-work activities include online browsing and social media use.—Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 29 Mar. 2023 Mario explained that most people who work in Mexico City live in its suburbs and munch on the esquites as a post-work snack before making the trek home.—Karthika Gupta, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 Mar. 2023 Leadership teams often assume that parents cannot or don’t want to participate in non-work related activities.—Dan Manian, Quartz, 7 Oct. 2022 Experts estimate that an average 65-year-old retired couple in 2021 would need about $300,000 in after-tax savings earmarked for health care costs in their post-work life, even with Medicare, according to Fidelity.—cleveland, 26 Sep. 2021 Researchers determined by measuring post-work activity levels that these changes occurred in rats’ biological clock, or master circadian pacemaker, which is located within the brain.—Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 14 May 2014 Alan Miller Kaufmann was just days into retirement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development but was eagerly embracing post-work life.—Olivia Diaz, Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2023 Holmes and Robach laugh over post-work beers at O’Donoghue’s in Time Square, as captured by the Mail.—Vulture, 3 Jan. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'work.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English werken, worken, from Old English wyrcan; akin to Old English weorc
Middle English werk, work, from Old English werc, weorc; akin to Old High German werc work, Greek ergon, Avestan varəzem activity