Topic: ARTS

Language: Old English
Origin: werc, weorc


2 noun
work2 S1 W1


[uncountable] a job or activity that you do regularly, especially in order to earn money [↪ employment]:
There isn't a lot of work at this time of the year.
My father started work when he was just 14.
He's been out of work (=without a job) for two years.
More people are in work (=have a job) than ten years ago.
There has been an increase in the number of people looking for work.
She found work with an engineering firm.
I'm planning to return to work (=start a job again after a long period of time) when the children are a little older.
before/after work (=before a day of work or at the end of a day of work)
Do you want to go for a drink after work?
part-time/full-time work
The new law will benefit people in part-time work.
I need to find paid work (=a job you are paid to do).
voluntary work British English /volunteer work American English (=a job you are not paid for)
He does voluntary work in a hospital.
In my line of work (=the type of work someone does), I meet lots of interesting people.
see usage note job


[uncountable] a place where you do your job, which is not your home:
I had an accident on the way to work.
He left work at the usual time.
I went out with the girls from work last night.
at work
Dad's at work right now.


[uncountable] the duties and activities that are part of your job:
A large part of the work we do involves using computers.
He starts work at 4am.
secretarial/legal/clerical etc work
He's started a business doing gardening and roofing work.


[uncountable] something that you produce as a result of doing your job or doing an activity:
Send a résumé and examples of your work.
The building is the work of architect Rafael Moneo.
The teacher should make sure that each child has a piece of work displayed on the wall.
The standard of work has declined.

papers etc

[uncountable] the papers and other materials you need for doing work:
Can you move some of your work off the kitchen table?
I often have to take work home with me.


[countable]A something such as a painting, play, piece of music etc that is produced by a painter, writer, or musician:
the Collected Works of Shakespeare
It is another accomplished work by the artist.
work of art


[uncountable] when you use physical or mental effort in order to achieve something
work on
Work will start next month on a new swimming pool in the centre of the city.
Looking after children can be hard work.
carry out/ do work
You should not allow unqualified people to carry out work on your house.
set to work/get down to work (=start work)
He set to work immediately.


[uncountable] study or research, especially for a particular purpose
carry out/do work
The centre carries out work to monitor trends in housing management.
He did his postgraduate work in Sociology.

at work

a) doing your job or a particular activity:
He spent most of his time watching the fishermen at work.
b) having a particular influence or effect:
Volcanoes display some of nature's most powerful forces at work.

the (whole) works

spoken used after mentioning several things, to emphasize that someone or something has everything you can think of:
The hotel had everything - sauna, swimming pool, the works.

nice work/quick work

spoken used to praise someone for doing something well or quickly:
That was quick work!

something is in the works/pipeline

informal used to say that something is being planned or developed:
Upgrades to the existing software are in the works.


[plural, uncountable]
a) TBC activities involved in building or repairing things such as roads, bridges etc
engineering works/irrigation works/roadworks
the official in charge of the engineering works
public works
b) TIF a building or group of buildings in which goods are produced in large quantities or an industrial process happens
ironworks/gasworks/cement works
The brick works closed last year.

the works

TE the moving parts of a machine [= mechanism]

have your work cut out (for you)

informal used to say that it will be very difficult to do something:
The team will have their work cut out if they are to win the competition.

make short/light work of something

to do something very quickly and easily:
A microwave oven can make light work of the cooking.

make heavy/hard work of something

to do something with difficulty:
They made hard work of what should have been an easy game.


[uncountable] technicalHP force multiplied by distance

➔ be all in a day's work

at day (21)

; ➔ do somebody's dirty work

at dirty1 (8)

; ➔ a nasty piece of work

at nasty (7)

; ➔ nice work if you can get it

at nice (12)

job, work, post, position, occupation, profession, career
Your job is the work that you do regularly in order to earn money, especially when you work for a company or public organization My last job was with a computer firm. He finally got a job in a supermarket.Work is used in a more general way to talk about activities that you do to earn money, either working for a company or for yourself Will you go back to work when you've had the baby? I started work when I was 18.!! Do not say 'what is your job?' or 'what is your work?'. Say what do you do? or what do you do for a living?Post and position are more formal words for a job in a company or organization. They are used especially in job advertisements and when you are talking about someone moving to a different job This post would suit a recent graduate. He left last summer for a teaching position in Singapore.Use occupation to talk about the kind of work that someone usually does, for example if they are a teacher, lawyer, driving instructor etc. Occupation is used mainly on official forms State your name, age, and occupation in the box below.!! Do not use occupation to talk about your own job I am an accountant. (NOT My occupation is an accountant).A profession is a kind of work for which you need special training and a good education, for example teaching, law, or medicine the legal professionYour career is the type of work that you do or hope to do for most of your life I'm interested in a career in television. His career is more important to him than his family.See also job

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