1. Exertion of strength or faculties; physical or intellectual effort directed to an end; industrial activity; toil; employment; sometimes, specifically, physical labor.
Man hath his daily work of body or mind
2. The matter on which one is at work; that upon which one spends labor; material for working upon; subject of exertion; the thing occupying one; business; duty; as, to take up one's work; to drop one's work.
Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand
That you yet know not of. --Shak.
In every work that he began . . . he did it with all his heart, and prospered. --2 Chron. xxxi. 21.
3. That which is produced as the result of labor; anything accomplished by exertion or toil; product; performance; fabric; manufacture; in a more general sense, act, deed, service, effect, result, achievement, feat.
To leave no rubs or blotches in the work. --Shak.
The work some praise,
And some the architect. --Milton.
Fancy . . .
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams. --Milton.
The composition or dissolution of mixed bodies . . . is the chief work of elements. --Sir K. Digby.
4. Specifically: (a) That which is produced by mental labor; a composition; a book; as, a work, or the works, of Addison. (b) Flowers, figures, or the like, wrought with the needle; embroidery.
I am glad I have found this napkin; . . .
I'll have the work ta'en out,
And give 't Iago. --Shak.
(c) pl. Structures in civil, military, or naval engineering, as docks, bridges, embankments, trenches, fortifications, and the like; also, the structures and grounds of a manufacturing establishment; as, iron works; locomotive works; gas works. (d) pl. The moving parts of a mechanism; as, the works of a watch.
5. Manner of working; management; treatment; as, unskillful work spoiled the effect.
6. Mech. The causing of motion against a resisting force. The amount of work is proportioned to, and is measured by, the product of the force into the amount of motion along the direction of the force. See Conservation of energy, under Conservation, Unit of work, under Unit, also Foot pound, Horse power, Poundal, and Erg.
Energy is the capacity of doing work . . . Work is the transference of energy from one system to another. --Clerk Maxwell.
7. Mining Ore before it is dressed.
8. pl. Script. Performance of moral duties; righteous conduct.
He shall reward every man according to his works. --Matt. xvi. 27.
Faith, if it hath not works, is dead. --James ii. 17.
9. Cricket Break; twist. [Cant]
10. Mech. The causing of motion against a resisting force, measured by the product of the force into the component of the motion resolved along the direction of the force.
Energy is the capacity of doing work. . . . Work is the transference of energy from one system to another. --Clerk Maxwell.
11. Mining Ore before it is dressed.
Muscular work Physiol., the work done by a muscle through the power of contraction.
To go to work, to begin laboring; to commence operations; to contrive; to manage. “I 'll go another way to work with him.” --Shak.
To set on work, to cause to begin laboring; to set to work. [Obs.] --Hooker.
To set to work, to employ; to cause to engage in any business or labor.
Work v. i. [imp. & p. p. Worked or Wrought p. pr. & vb. n. Working.]
1. To exert one's self for a purpose; to put forth effort for the attainment of an object; to labor; to be engaged in the performance of a task, a duty, or the like.
O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work,
To match thy goodness? --Shak.
Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you. --Ex. v. 18.
Whether we work or play, or sleep or wake,
Our life doth pass. --Sir J. Davies.
2. Hence, in a general sense, to operate; to act; to perform; as, a machine works well.
We bend to that the working of the heart. --Shak.
3. Hence, figuratively, to be effective; to have effect or influence; to conduce.
We know that all things work together for good to them that love God. --Rom. viii. 28.
This so wrought upon the child, that afterwards he desired to be taught. --Locke.
She marveled how she could ever have been wrought upon to marry him. --Hawthorne.
4. To carry on business; to be engaged or employed customarily; to perform the part of a laborer; to labor; to toil.
They that work in fine flax . . . shall be confounded. --Isa. xix. 9.
5. To be in a state of severe exertion, or as if in such a state; to be tossed or agitated; to move heavily; to strain; to labor; as, a ship works in a heavy sea.
Confused with working sands and rolling waves. --Addison.
6. To make one's way slowly and with difficulty; to move or penetrate laboriously; to proceed with effort; -- with a following preposition, as down, out, into, up, through, and the like; as, scheme works out by degrees; to work into the earth.
Till body up to spirit work, in bounds
Proportioned to each kind. --Milton.
7. To ferment, as a liquid.
The working of beer when the barm is put in. --Bacon.
8. To act or operate on the stomach and bowels, as a cathartic.
Purges . . . work best, that is, cause the blood so to do, . . . in warm weather or in a warm room. --Grew.
To work at, to be engaged in or upon; to be employed in.
To work to windward Naut., to sail or ply against the wind; to tack to windward.
Work v. t.
1. To labor or operate upon; to give exertion and effort to; to prepare for use, or to utilize, by labor.
He could have told them of two or three gold mines, and a silver mine, and given the reason why they forbare to work them at that time. --Sir W. Raleigh.
2. To produce or form by labor; to bring forth by exertion or toil; to accomplish; to originate; to effect; as, to work wood or iron into a form desired, or into a utensil; to work cotton or wool into cloth.
Each herb he knew, that works or good or ill. --Harte.
3. To produce by slow degrees, or as if laboriously; to bring gradually into any state by action or motion. “Sidelong he works his way.”
So the pure, limpid stream, when foul with stains
Of rushing torrents and descending rains,
Works itself clear, and as it runs, refines,
Till by degrees the floating mirror shines. --Addison.
4. To influence by acting upon; to prevail upon; to manage; to lead. “Work your royal father to his ruin.”
5. To form with a needle and thread or yarn; especially, to embroider; as, to work muslin.
6. To set in motion or action; to direct the action of; to keep at work; to govern; to manage; as, to work a machine.
Knowledge in building and working ships. --Arbuthnot.
Now, Marcus, thy virtue's the proof;
Put forth thy utmost strength, work every nerve. --Addison.
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do. --Coleridge.
7. To cause to ferment, as liquor.
To work a passage Naut., to pay for a passage by doing work.
To work double tides Naut., to perform the labor of three days in two; -- a phrase which alludes to a practice of working by the night tide as well as by the day.
To work in, to insert, introduce, mingle, or interweave by labor or skill.
To work into, to force, urge, or insinuate into; as, to work one's self into favor or confidence.
To work off, to remove gradually, as by labor, or a gradual process; as, beer works off impurities in fermenting.
To work out. (a) To effect by labor and exertion. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” --Phil. ii. 12. (b) To erase; to efface. [R.]
Tears of joy for your returning spilt,
Work out and expiate our former guilt. --Dryden.
(c) To solve, as a problem. (d) To exhaust, as a mine, by working.
To work up. (a) To raise; to excite; to stir up; as, to work up the passions to rage.
The sun, that rolls his chariot o'er their heads,
Works up more fire and color in their cheeks. --Addison.
(b) To expend in any work, as materials; as, they have worked up all the stock. (c) Naut. To make over or into something else, as yarns drawn from old rigging, made into spun yarn, foxes, sennit, and the like; also, to keep constantly at work upon needless matters, as a crew in order to punish them. --R. H. Dana, Jr.
n 1: activity directed toward making or doing something; "she
checked several points needing further work"
2: a product produced or accomplished through the effort or
activity or agency of a person or thing; "it is not
regarded as one of his more memorable works"; "the
symphony was hailed as an ingenious work"; "he was
indebted to the pioneering work of John Dewey"; "the work
of an active imagination"; "erosion is the work of wind or
water over time" [syn: piece of work]
3: the occupation for which you are paid; "he is looking for
employment"; "a lot of people are out of work" [syn: employment]
4: applying the mind to learning and understanding a subject
(especially by reading); "mastering a second language
requires a lot of work"; "no schools offer graduate study
in interior design" [syn: study]
5: the total output of a writer or artist (or a substantial
part of it); "he studied the entire Wagnerian oeuvre";
"Picasso's work can be divided into periods" [syn: oeuvre,
body of work]
6: a place where work is done; "he arrived at work early today"
7: (physics) a manifestation of energy; the transfer of energy
from one physical system to another expressed as the
product of a force and the distance through which it moves
a body in the direction of that force; "work equals force
v 1: exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose
or out of necessity; "I will work hard to improve my
grades"; "she worked hard for better living conditions
for the poor" [ant: idle]
2: be employed; "Is your husband working again?"; "My wife
never worked"; "Do you want to work after the age of 60?";
"She never did any work because she inherited a lot of
money"; "She works as a waitress to put herself through
college" [syn: do work]
3: have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or
expected; "The voting process doesn't work as well as
people thought"; "How does your idea work in practice?";
"This method doesn't work"; "The breaks of my new car act
quickly"; "The medicine works only if you take it with a
lot of water" [syn: act]
4: perform as expected when applied; "The washing machine won't
go unless it's plugged in"; "Does this old car still run
well?"; "This old radio doesn't work anymore" [syn: function,
operate, go, run] [ant: malfunction]
5: shape, form, or improve a material; "work stone into tools";
"process iron"; "work the metal" [syn: work on, process]
6: give a work-out to; "Some parents exercise their infants";
"My personal trainer works me hard"; "work one's muscles"
[syn: exercise, work out]
7: proceed along a path; "work one's way through the crowd";
"make one's way into the forest" [syn: make]
8: operate in a certain place, area, or specialty; "She works
the night clubs"; "The salesman works the Midwest"; "This
artist works mostly in acrylics"
9: proceed towards a goal or along a path or through an
activity; "work your way through every problem or task";
"She was working on her second martini when the guests
arrived"; "Start from the bottom and work towards the top"
10: move in an agitated manner; "His fingers worked with
11: cause to happen or to occur as a consequence; "I cannot work
a miracle"; "wreak havoc"; "bring comments"; "play a
joke"; "The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken
area" [syn: bring, play, wreak, make for]
12: cause to work; "he is working his servants hard" [syn: put
13: prepare for crops; "Work the soil"; "cultivate the land"
[syn: cultivate, crop]
14: behave in a certain way when handled; "This dough does not
work easily"; "The soft metal works well"
15: have and exert influence or effect; "The artist's work
influenced the young painter"; "She worked on her friends
to support the political candidate" [syn: influence, act
16: operate in or through; "Work the phones"
17: cause to operate or function; "This pilot works the
controls"; "Can you work an electric drill?"
18: provoke or excite; "The rock musician worked the crowd of
young girls into a frenzy"
19: gratify and charm, usually in order to influence; "the
political candidate worked the crowds"
20: make something, usually for a specific function; "She molded
the riceballs carefully"; "Form cylinders from the
dough"; "shape a figure"; "Work the metal into a sword"
[syn: shape, form, mold, mould, forge]
21: move into or onto; "work the raisins into the dough"; "the
student worked a few jokes into his presentation"; "work
the body onto the flatbed truck"
22: make uniform; "knead dough"; "work the clay until it is
soft" [syn: knead]
23: use or manipulate to one's advantage; "He exploit the new
taxation system"; "She knows how to work the system"; "he
works his parents for sympathy" [syn: exploit]
24: find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand
the meaning of; "did you solve the problem?"; "Work out
your problems with the boss"; "this unpleasant situation
isn't going to work itself out"; "did you get it?"; "Did
you get my meaning?"; "He could not work the math
problem" [syn: solve, work out, figure out, puzzle
25: cause to undergo fermentation; "We ferment the grapes for a
very long time to achieve high alcohol content"; "The
vintner worked the wine in big oak vats" [syn: ferment]
26: go sour or spoil; "The milk has soured"; "The wine worked";
"The cream has turned--we have to throw it out" [syn: sour,
27: arrive at a certain condition through repeated motion; "The
stitches of the hem worked loose after she wore the skirt