From Middle English work, werk, from Old English worc, weorc, ġeweorc, from Proto-Germanic *werką (“work”), from Proto-Indo-European *wérǵom; akin to Scots wark, Saterland Frisian Wierk, West Frisian wurk, Dutch werk, German Werk, Danish værk, Swedish verk and yrke, Icelandic verk, Gothic ???????? (gawaurki), Ancient Greek ἔργον (érgon, “work”) (from ϝέργον (wérgon)), Avestan ????? (vərəz, “to work, to perform”), Armenian գործ (gorc, “work”), Albanian argëtoj (“entertain, reward, please”). English cognates include bulwark, boulevard, energy, erg, georgic, liturgy, metallurgy, organ, surgeon, wright.
work (countable and uncountable, plural works)
- (heading, uncountable) Employment.
- Labour, occupation, job.
- The place where one is employed.
- One's employer.
- (heading, uncountable) Effort.
- Effort expended on a particular task.
- Sustained human effort to overcome obstacles and achieve a result.
- Something on which effort is expended.
- (physics) A measure of energy expended in moving an object; most commonly, force times distance. No work is done if the object does not move.
- (physics, more generally) A measure of energy that is usefully extracted from a process.
- Sustained effort to achieve a goal or result, especially overcoming obstacles.
- (heading) Product; the result of effort.
- (uncountable, often in combination) The result of a particular manner of production.
- (uncountable, often in combination) Something produced using the specified material or tool.
- (countable) A literary, artistic, or intellectual production.
- (countable) A fortification.
- (uncountable, slang, professional wrestling) The staging of events to appear as real.
- (mining) Ore before it is dressed.
- The equipment needed to inject a drug (syringes, needles, swabs etc.)
From Middle English werken and worchen, from Old English wyrċan and wircan (Mercian), from Proto-Germanic *wurkijaną (“to work”), from Proto-Indo-European *werǵ- (“to work”). Cognate with Old Frisian werka, wirka, Old Saxon wirkian, Low German warken, Dutch werken, Old High German wurken (German wirken, werken and werkeln), Old Norse yrkja and orka, (Swedish yrka and orka), Gothic ???????? (waurkjan).
work (third-person singular simple present works, present participle working, simple past and past participle worked or (rare) wrought)
- (intransitive) To do a specific task by employing physical or mental powers.
- Followed by in (or at, etc.) Said of one's workplace (building), or one's department, or one's trade (sphere of business).
- Followed by as. Said of one's job title
- Followed by for. Said of a company or individual who employs.
- Followed by with. General use, said of either fellow employees or instruments or clients.
- (transitive) To effect by gradual degrees.
- (transitive) To embroider with thread.
- (transitive) To set into action.
- (transitive) To cause to ferment.
- (intransitive) To ferment.
- (transitive) To exhaust, by working.
- (transitive) To shape, form, or improve a material.
- (transitive) To operate in a certain place, area, or speciality.
- (transitive) To operate in or through; as, to work the phones.
- (transitive) To provoke or excite; to influence.
- (transitive) To use or manipulate to one’s advantage.
- (transitive) To cause to happen or to occur as a consequence.
- (transitive) To cause to work.
- (intransitive) To function correctly; to act as intended; to achieve the goal designed for.
- (intransitive, figuratively) To influence.
- (intransitive) To effect by gradual degrees; as, to work into the earth.
- (intransitive) To move in an agitated manner.
- (intransitive) To behave in a certain way when handled
- (transitive, with two objects, poetic) To cause (someone) to feel (something); to do unto somebody (something, whether good or bad).
- (obsolete, intransitive) To hurt; to ache.