[syn: sour, turn, ferment, work]
27. arrive at a certain condition through repeated motion;
- Example: "The stitches of the hem worked loose after she wore the skirt many times"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Work \Work\ (w[^u]rk), n. [OE. work, werk, weorc, AS. weorc,
worc; akin to OFries. werk, wirk, OS., D., & G. werk, OHG.
werc, werah, Icel. & Sw. verk, Dan. v[ae]rk, Goth.
gawa['u]rki, Gr. 'e`rgon, [digamma]e`rgon, work, "re`zein to
do, 'o`rganon an instrument, 'o`rgia secret rites, Zend verez
to work. [root]145. Cf. Bulwark, Energy, Erg,
Georgic, Liturgy, Metallurgy, Organ, Orgy,
1. Exertion of strength or faculties; physical or
intellectual effort directed to an end; industrial
activity; toil; employment; sometimes, specifically,
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.
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.
The composition or dissolution of mixed bodies . . .
is the chief work of elements. --Sir K.
(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
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
5. Manner of working; management; treatment; as, unskillful
work spoiled the effect. --Bp. Stillingfleet.
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
7. (Mining) Ore before it is dressed. --Raymond.
8. pl. (Script.) Performance of moral duties; righteous
He shall reward every man according to his works.
Faith, if it hath not works, is dead. --James ii.
9. (Cricket) Break; twist. [Cant]
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
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
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
11. (Mining) Ore before it is dressed.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
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
To set on work, to cause to begin laboring; to set to work.
To set to work, to employ; to cause to engage in any
business or labor.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Work \Work\ (w[^u]rk), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Worked (w[^u]rkt),
or Wrought (r[add]t); p. pr. & vb. n. Working.] [AS.
wyrcean (imp. worthe, wrohte, p. p. geworht, gewroht); akin
to OFries. werka, wirka, OS. wirkian, D. werken, G. wirken,
Icel. verka, yrkja, orka, Goth. wa['u]rkjan. [root]145. See
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.
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.
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;
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.
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.
8. To act or operate on the stomach and bowels, as a
Purges . . . work best, that is, cause the blood so
to do, . . . in warm weather or in a warm room.
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. --Mar. Dict.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Work \Work\ (w[^u]rk), 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.
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.
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." --Milton.
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.
4. To influence by acting upon; to prevail upon; to manage;
to lead. "Work your royal father to his ruin." --Philips.
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.
Now, Marcus, thy virtue's the proof;
Put forth thy utmost strength, work every nerve.
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
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
Works up more fire and color in their cheeks.
(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.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
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:
work, 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:
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, work]
5: (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 times
6: a place where work is done; "he arrived at work early today"
[syn: workplace, work]
7: 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, work,
body of work]
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, laze, slug, stagnate]
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: work, 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: work,
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, work, operate, go, run] [ant:
5: shape, form, or improve a material; "work stone into tools";
"process iron"; "work the metal" [syn: work, work on,
6: give a workout to; "Some parents exercise their infants"; "My
personal trainer works me hard"; "work one's muscles"; "this
puzzle will exercise your mind" [syn: exercise, work,
7: proceed along a path; "work one's way through the crowd";
"make one's way into the forest" [syn: make, work]
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, work, play, wreak, make for]
12: cause to work; "he is working his servants hard" [syn:
work, put to work]
13: prepare for crops; "Work the soil"; "cultivate the land"
[syn: cultivate, crop, work]
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 rice balls carefully"; "Form cylinders from the dough";
"shape a figure"; "Work the metal into a sword" [syn:
shape, form, work, 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, work]
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, work]
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 out, lick,
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, turn, ferment, work]
27: arrive at a certain condition through repeated motion; "The
stitches of the hem worked loose after she wore the skirt
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
885 Moby Thesaurus words for "work":
Grand Guignol, Nachtmusik, Passion play, Tom show, abatis,
absolute music, accomplish, accomplished fact, accomplishment,
acetify, achieve, achievement, acidify, acidulate, act, acta,
acting, action, activism, activities, activity, adaptation, admix,
advance, advanced work, advantage, adventure, affair, affairs,
affect, agency, air varie, aleatory, aleatory music, alkalify,
alkalize, alloy, amalgamate, answer, antimasque, arch dam,
arrangement, art, art object, article, artifact, assignment,
attain, attempt, audience success, author, autograph, avail,
backset, backstop, bag, balistraria, ballet, bamboo curtain, bank,
banquette, bar, barbed-wire entanglement, barbican, barrage,
barricade, barrier, bartizan, bastion, battlement, be busy,
be effective, be employed, be equal to, be in action,
be productive, be responsible for, be right, bear, bear-trap dam,
beaver dam, befit, befitting, beget, behave, behavior, bemingle,
bend, benefit, best seller, bias, blend, block out, blow, blubber,
boil, boil over, bomb, book, boom, borate, bottom, bound book,
brainchild, breakwater, breastwork, breed, bric-a-brac, brick wall,
bring about, bring forth, bring into being, bring to effect,
bring to fruition, bring to pass, broadcast drama, bubble,
bubble over, bubble up, buffer, bulkhead, bulwark, burble, burden,
burlesque show, business, busy, busywork, calling, carbonate,
career, career building, careerism, carry on, carry on business,
carry out, carry through, carve, casemate, cast, catalyze, cause,
chamber music, chamber orchestra, char, charade, chare, charge,
chemical, cheval-de-frise, child, chisel, chlorinate, chore,
circumvallation, classic, clear up, cliff hanger, closet drama,
coalesce, cofferdam, coinage, color, coloring book, combine,
comedy drama, commerce, commingle, commission, commitment, commix,
compass, compose, composition, compound, computer printout,
conceive, concern, concernment, concoct, concoction, conduct,
conglomerate, consummate, contract, contravallation, copy,
counterscarp, coup, crack, craft, create, creation, creature,
critical success, crowning achievement, cultivate, culture,
curtain, cut, dam, daytime serial, deal, deal with, dealings,
debug, decipher, decode, deed, defense, definitive work, delve,
demibastion, descant, design, dialogue, dig, dike, direct,
direction, dirty work, discharge, disentangle, dispatch, dispose,
dispose of, distillation, ditch, divine, do, do business, do chars,
do it, do the chores, do the job, do the trick, do with, document,
documentary drama, doing, doings, donkeywork, dope, dope out,
draft, drama, dramalogue, dramatic play, dramatic series,
drawbridge, dress, drive, driving, drudge, drudgery, duodrama,
duologue, duty, earthwork, edited version, effect, effectuate,
effervesce, efform, effort, electrolyze, electronic music,
embankment, employ, employment, emulsify, enact, enclosure,
end product, end use, endeavor, engagement, engender, engineer,
engrossment, entanglement, enterprise, epic theater, errand,
escarp, escarpment, essay, essence, establish, etude, execute,
execution, exercise, exert, exertion, experimental theater,
explain, exploit, extract, extravaganza, fag, failure, fair copy,
fait accompli, fallow, fashion, father, fathom, fatigue, feat,
fence, ferment, fertilize, fetch, fiction, fieldwork, figure,
figure out, fill the bill, final draft, find out, find the answer,
find the solution, finished version, first draft, fish to fry, fit,
fix, fizz, fizzle, flimsy, flop, folio, follow a trade, force,
forge, form, formalize, fortalice, fortification, forward, found,
frame, fruit, fulfill, function, functioning, fuse, game, gasser,
gate, generate, gest, gestate, get, get by, get right,
give birth to, give occasion to, give origin to, give rise to,
giveaway, glacis, go, go around, gravity dam, great work, grind,
groin, grotesque, guess, guess right, guggle, gurgle, hack it,
hand, handicraft, handiwork, handle, handling, handwork, happening,
hardback, harmonization, harrow, hash, have a job, have effect,
have free play, have it, have play, hew, hiss, hit, hit it,
hit show, hoe, hold, holograph, homework, homogenize,
homopolymerize, hydrate, hydraulic-fill dam, hydrogenate,
hydroxylate, immediate purpose, immingle, immix,
improvisational drama, inaugurate, incidental music, incline,
induce, industrialize, industry, influence, institute,
instrumental music, integrate, interblend, interest, interlace,
interlard, intermingle, intermix, interpret, intertwine,
interweave, invention, iron curtain, isomerize, issue, jam, jetty,
job, job of work, jumble, just do, juvenile, juvenile book,
keep busy, keep up, kitsch, knead, knock off, knock out, labor,
lay out, lead, leaping weir, legitimate drama, letter, levee, lick,
lick into shape, lick of work, lifework, limp-cover book, line,
line of business, line of work, list, literae scriptae,
literary artefact, literary production, literature, logjam,
lookout, loophole, lucubration, lunette, machicolation,
magnum opus, make, make go, make out, make the grade, make use of,
make-work, manage, management, maneuver, manipulate, manipulation,
mantelet, manual labor, manufactory, manufacture, manuscript,
masque, mass-produce, master, masterpiece, masterwork, matter,
matters in hand, measure, meet, meet requirements, melodrama,
merge, merlon, metier, militate, mill, milldam, mingle,
mingle-mangle, minstrel show, mint, mintage, miracle, miracle play,
mission, mix, mix up, moat, mobile, moil, mold, mole, monodrama,
monologue, moonlight, morality, morality play, mound, move,
movements, mulch, museum piece, music drama, musical revue,
mystery, mystery play, new mintage, nitrate, nocturne, nonbook,
nonfiction, not come amiss, notebook, novel, nude, number,
obligation, occasion, occupation, odd job, office, offspring,
old master, open the lock, opera, operancy, operate, operation,
operational purpose, operations, oppress, opus, opuscule,
opusculum, orchestration, original, originate, origination,
outcome, outgrowth, outwork, overdrive, overproduce, overt act,
overtask, overtax, overwork, oxidize, pageant, pains, palisade,
panel show, pantomime, paper, paperback, parados, parapet,
parchment, pass, pass muster, passage, pasticcio, pastiche,
pastoral, pastoral drama, penscript, pepsinate, percolate, perform,
perform on, performance, performing, perk, peroxidize, persuade,
phosphatize, picture book, piece, piece of virtu, piece of work,
piece of writing, pilot, plan, plant, play, playbook, playlet,
plop, plow, plugging, plumb, ply, pocket book, poem, polish off,
polymerize, portcullis, postern gate, practice,
practice a profession, praxis, prayer book, predispose,
printed matter, printout, problem play, proceed, proceeding,
produce, product, production, profession, profit, program,
program music, project, promote, prompt, proposition, prune,
psalmbook, psalter, psych, psych out, psychodrama, publication,
purpose, pursuit, put away, puzzle out, qualify, quiz show, racket,
radio drama, rake, rampart, rat race, ravel, ravel out, ravelin,
reach, react, reading matter, realize, recension, redan, redoubt,
reduce, res gestae, resolve, responsibility, result, review, revue,
ricercar, riddle, roadblock, rock-fill dam, role, rough out,
roughcast, roughhew, run, running, sally port, satisfy, scarp,
sconce, score, scramble, screed, scrip, script, scrive, scroll,
sculpt, sculpture, scut work, seawall, second draft, see to,
seethe, sensational play, serial, serve, serve the purpose,
service, set, set afloat, set on foot, set up, set up shop, shape,
show, shuffle, shutter dam, simmer, sire, sitcom, situation comedy,
sketch, sketchbook, skit, slavery, slogging, soap, soap opera,
soft-cover, soften up, solve, sonata, sonatina, songbook, sort out,
spade, spadework, sparkle, specialization, specialty, spectacle,
stabile, stage play, stage show, stamp, stand, stand up,
standard work, statue, stay employed, steer, steering, step,
still life, stint, stir up, stockade, stone wall, storybook,
straight drama, strain, stretch, string orchestra, string quartet,
strive, striving, stroke, stroke of work, study, stunt, suffice,
suit the occasion, sulfate, sulfatize, sulfonate, suspense drama,
sway, sweat, swing, syncretize, tableau, tableau vivant, tailor,
take, take care of, take effect, take it, talk show, task, tax,
teleplay, television drama, television play, tenaille, tend,
the written word, theater of cruelty, theme and variations,
thermoform, thin, thin out, thing, thing done, things to do,
throw together, tick, till, till the soil, tinge, tiresome work,
title, toil, tome, tone, toss together, total theater,
tour de force, trade, trade book, transact business, transaction,
transcript, transcription, travail, treadmill, trio, trouble, tug,
turn, turn a hand, turn the trick, typescript, ultimate purpose,
undertaking, undo, unlock, unravel, unriddle, unscramble, untangle,
untwist, unweave, use, utilize, vallation, vallum, variation,
variety show, vaudeville, vaudeville show, vehicle, venture,
version, virtu, vocation, volume, volume-produce, walk,
walk of life, wall, wear down, weed, weed out, weigh with, weir,
wicket dam, wield, word-of-mouth success, work at, work for,
work of art, work out, working, workings, works, writing