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English definition of “work”


[I or T] HR, WORKPLACE to do a job, especially to earn money: Do you work? He works as a computer technician. My brother works for a large American corporation. How many people work at your company? work full-time/part-time/from home work an eight-hour day/hard/long hours work in a bank/factory/an office
[I] to spend time and effort doing something: We were working on the presentation all night. The two countries worked together on developing the technology. Multinationals will have to work with governments to achieve the best balance between openness and security.
[I] to try hard to achieve or improve something: work at/on sth You need to work on your communication skills. I'm not very confident on the phone, but I'm prepared to work at working towards sth Our firm is working towards being a paperless environment.
[I] to be effective or successful: The plan seemed to work well. The current system isn't working, so we'll need to look at an alternative.
[I] WORKPLACE, IT if a machine or piece of equipment works, it operates as expected: My computer isn't working. I can't get this printer to work.
[T] informal WORKPLACE, IT to operate a machine or piece of equipment: He doesn't even know how to work a photocopier.
[T] COMMERCE to go around a particular area that you are responsible for, especially in a sales job: His sales were better when he was working the London area.
[I] to have a good or bad effect: The terms they're offering don't work for us. His poor command of English worked against him in the interview. Her previous sales experience worked in her favour.
[T] to change the shape of a material to make something else with it: work leather/metal
work a mine NATURAL RESOURCES to dig for coal, minerals, etc.: These men have been working the mines all their lives.
work sb hard to make someone use a lot of effort: He works his trainees really hard.
work it so (that) informal to arrange for something to happen in a way that is useful for you: I'm going to try and work it so I can spend the weekend in New York after the conference.
work the land formal to prepare the soil to grow crops on it: We're here to thank those who work the land to feed us.
work the system to know how to deal with a system or organization to get the result you want: People who know how to work the system can significantly reduce their tax bill.
work things out to deal with a situation successfully, especially when there is a problem: I'll try to work things out with our suppliers.
work your way up sth (also work your way up to sth) to do a series of jobs at different levels in an organization until you reach a position at the top of the organization: She joined the company as a sales rep but worked her way up to managing your way up the ladder/hierarchy/ranks I'd like to stay here and work my way up the audit career ladder.
(Definition of work verb from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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