Meaning of “work at sth” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"work at sth" in British English

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work at sth

phrasal verb with work uk /wɜːk/ us /wɝːk/ verb

B2 to try hard to achieve something:

Most couples would agree that for a marriage to succeed, both parties have to work at it.
[ + -ing verb ] You need to work at improving your writing.

More examples

  • I need to work at my piano playing.
  • You'll never learn Spanish if you don't work at it.
  • He's working at controlling his temper.

(Definition of “work at sth” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)