Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “work-to-rule”

work-to-rule

noun [C usually singular] uk   /ˌwɜːk.təˈruːl/ us    /ˌwɝːk-/
a situation in which people carefully obey all the rules and instructions given to them about their jobs, with the intention of reducing the amount of work they do: A work-to-rule is seen as a way to protest against low pay or bad working conditions.Industrial action

work-to-rule

verb uk   /ˌwɜːk.təˈruːl/ us    /ˌwɝːk-/
work to rule to arrange and perform a work-to-rule: So far, the dustmen have not resorted to a strike but are working to rule.Industrial actionWork, working and the workplaceWorking hours and periods of work
(Definition of work-to-rule from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of work-to-rule?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Work, working and the workplace, but you might be interested in these topics from the Working topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “work-to-rule” in other dictionaries

Translations of “work-to-rule”

Word of the Day

improvisation

a performance that an actor, musician, etc. has not practised or planned

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