Meaning of “work sth out” in the English Dictionary

"work sth out" in British English

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work sth out

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

(CALCULATE)

B2 to do a calculation to get an answer to a mathematical question:

We need to work out the total cost of the project.

More examples

  • Can you work out how much each card cost?
  • I need to work out how much tax I will have to pay.
  • When we worked out how much it cost us to run a car, we decided to sell it.

(UNDERSTAND)

C2 US usually figure sth out to understand something or to find the answer to something by thinking about it:

[ + question word ] There will be a full investigation to work out what caused the accident.
[ + that ] Investigators needed several months to work out that a fraud had been committed.

More examples

  • I couldn't work out what was going on.
  • We're trying to work out how to finish the project.
  • I couldn't work out what his expression meant.

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

"work sth out" in Business English

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work sth out

phrasal verb with work uk /wɜːk/ us verb

to calculate the cost, price, or amount of something:

Work out how many people we need to finish the project on time.
We worked out the cost of hiring two more developers.

to find a solution to a problem or situation:

We need to work out a way of improving our overseas sales.
The details of the deal are still being worked out.

(Definition of “work sth out” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)