Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “work”

work

verb  /wɜrk/ us  

work verb (DO A JOB)

[I/T] to do a job, esp. a job you do to earn money: [T] She works long hours. [T] Richie worked the night shift. [I] Designers worked with the director. [I] Mike works for a computer company. [I] Medics were working on him for an hour. [I] She worked on the project with Luce. [I] Anna works well with others. [I] I have to work on Saturday.

work verb (PERFORM AS INTENDED)

[I/T] to perform as intended or desired, or to cause something to do what it was intended to do: [I] The medicine ought to work right away. [I] Our plan worked perfectly. [T] I don’t know how to work this computer. [T] He knows how to work the system (= get what he wants from it).

work verb (HAVE EFFECT)

[I always + adv/prep] (of a condition or fact) to have an effect, esp. one that either helps or causes difficulties: Time was working against us. Jimmie has a lot working in his favor.

work verb (MAKE OBJECT)

[T] to shape something with your hands: She carefully works the clay.

work

noun  /wɜrk/ us  

work noun (FORCE)

physics [U] force used on an object multiplied by the distance it moves the object, measured in joules

work noun (PLACE)

[U] the place where a person regularly goes to do his or her job: I had to leave work early. Does it take long to commute to work?

work noun (OBJECT)

[C] an object produced as a result of effort, esp. something intended to be art: The museum is showing works by 20th-century artists.

work noun (DO A JOB)

[U] the use of effort to do or make something that has value, and for which you are usually paid: outdoor/office/manual work Steve’s out of work again (= not employed).
(Definition of work from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of work?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “work” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

beer mat

a small piece of cardboard that you put under a glass to protect a table surface in a pub or bar

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More