Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “work”

See all translations

work

noun [U]
 
 
/wɜːk/
HR the job that someone does, usually to earn money: full-time/part-time work Many pensioners will have to consider part-time work to supplement their retirement plans.find/get/look for work The government's initiative helps the unemployed find work. He's been out of work for six months now. permanent/regular/temporary work paid/unpaid/voluntary work badly paid/well-paid work give up/go back to/return to work
WORKPLACE a place, such as an office, a factory, etc., where someone goes to do their job: The Managing Director always arrived at work early and stayed late. She claimed her stress was the result of the bank's hostile work environment. be at/go to/leave work What time do you go to work in the morning?
WORKPLACE the responsibilities that are part of your job: start/finish/stop work I don't finish work until 6.30 pm. I need to take some time off work to look after my son. Analysts refer to various sources of information to help them make investment decisions in their day-to-day work. The government launched an inquiry into the work of the Monetary Policy Committee. do/enjoy/hate your work factory/manual/office work administrative/clerical/secretarial work
WORKPLACE the tasks that need to be completed: do/produce/take on work The department can't take on any more work until this project is finished. I always end up taking work home at the weekend.
the mental or physical effort involved in doing or achieving something: The builders started work on the new offices last week.carry out/put in work The whole team put in a lot of hard work to win the contract. We need to set to work on reviewing our claims system. The finance department has been hard at work on its year-end report. Management still has a lot of work to do to ensure the company's future. The committee's report was a very good piece of work. good/hard work innovative/major/outstanding work
works [plural] UK the activity of building or repairing something: engineering/repair works The road was closed for essential repair works.
works [C] PRODUCTION an industrial building where materials or goods are manufactured: Residents protested about the waste produced by the nearby industrial works. a chemical/gas/steel works the works foreman/manager/supervisor the works close down/open
have your work cut out for you informal to have something very difficult to do: The government has its work cut out for it trying to reduce the national deficit.
in the works in the process of being planned or discussed: Protesters claim the proposed cuts had been in the works for months.
→  See also casual , contingent work , make-work , out of work , piecework , public works , welfare to work , work in progress
(Definition of work noun from the Cambridge Business English 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

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More