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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 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.