English dictionary

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English noun: work

1. work (act) activity directed toward making or doing something

SamplesShe checked several points needing further work.

Broader (hypernym)activity

Narrower (hyponym)action, aid, attention, busywork, care, coursework, duty, heavy lifting, housekeeping, housewifery, housework, investigating, investigation, ironing, job, job, labor, labor, labour, lavation, logging, loose end, make-work, mission, missionary work, nightwork, operation, paperwork, polishing, procedure, project, service, shining, social service, spadework, subbing, substituting, task, tending, timework, toil, undertaking, unfinished business, wash, washing, welfare work

2. work (artifact) a product produced or accomplished through the effort or activity or agency of a person or thing

SamplesIt 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.

Synonymspiece of work

Broader (hypernym)product, production

Narrower (hyponym)caning, chef-d'oeuvre, follow-up, followup, handcraft, handicraft, handiwork, handwork, ironwork, lacework, lacquerware, leatherwork, masterpiece, metalwork, openwork, polychrome, publication, silverwork, wicker, wickerwork, woodwork, work in progress, workpiece

3. work (act) the occupation for which you are paid

SamplesHe is looking for employment.
A lot of people are out of work.


Broader (hypernym)business, job, line, line of work, occupation

Narrower (hyponym)booking, coaching, coaching job, engagement, ministry, navigation, paper route, piecework, public service, sailing, seafaring, service, services, telecommuting, teleworking, work load, workload

4. work (cognition) applying the mind to learning and understanding a subject (especially by reading)

SamplesMastering a second language requires a lot of work.
No schools offer graduate study in interior design.


Broader (hypernym)acquisition, learning

5. work (phenomenon) (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

SamplesWork equals force times distance.

Broader (hypernym)energy, free energy

Domain categorynatural philosophy, physics

6. work (artifact) a place where work is done

SamplesHe arrived at work early today.


Broader (hypernym)geographic point, geographical point

Narrower (hyponym)bakehouse, bakery, bakeshop, beehive, brokerage, brokerage house, central, colliery, creamery, drill site, exchange, exchange, farm, fish farm, fishery, forge, gasworks, glassworks, ironworks, job, lab, laboratory, laundry, location, lumberyard, oyster bank, oyster bed, oyster park, piscary, pit, proving ground, research lab, research laboratory, rope yard, ropewalk, roundhouse, science lab, science laboratory, shipyard, shop, shop floor, smithy, studio, studio, tannery, telephone exchange, test bed, waterworks, workshop

Part holonymlocker room

7. work (artifact) the total output of a writer or artist (or a substantial part of it)

SamplesHe studied the entire Wagnerian oeuvre.
Picasso's work can be divided into periods.

Synonymsbody of work, oeuvre

Broader (hypernym)end product, output

Narrower (hyponym)writing

English verb: work

1. work (social) exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose or out of necessity

SamplesI will work hard to improve my grades.
She worked hard for better living conditions for the poor.

ExamplesSam and Sue work

Pattern of useSomebody ----s.
Somebody ----s PP

Narrower (hyponym)assist, beaver, beaver away, boondoggle, busy, carpenter, clerk, collaborate, cooperate, electioneer, get together, go through, intern, join forces, keep one's nose to the grindstone, keep one's shoulder to the wheel, mess around, minister, monkey, monkey around, muck about, muck around, occupy, page, peg away, plug away, potter, pull one's weight, putter, run through, scant, serve, skimp, skipper, slog, specialise, specialize, tinker, volunteer, wait, waitress, whore, work, work at, work on, work through

Verb groupdo work, work

Antonymslaze, idle, slug, stagnate

2. work (social) be employed

SamplesIs 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.

Synonymsdo work

Pattern of useSomebody ----s.
Somebody ----s PP

Narrower (hyponym)bank, blackleg, break one's back, buckle down, dig, drive, drudge, fag, farm, fill, fink, freelance, grind, job, knuckle down, labor, labour, man, moil, moonlight, occupy, rat, scab, serve, serve, slave, subcontract, take, tinker, toil, travail, turn a trick

Verb groupput to work, work, work, work

3. work (social) have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected

SamplesThe 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.


Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Something is ----ing PP

Broader (hypernym)bring home the bacon, come through, deliver the goods, succeed, win

Verb groupbring, make for, play, work, wreak

4. work (contact) perform as expected when applied

SamplesThe washing machine won't go unless it's plugged in.
Does this old car still run well?.
This old radio doesn't work anymore.

ExamplesThese cars won't work

Synonymsfunction, go, operate, run

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Narrower (hyponym)cut, double, roll, run, serve, service

Verb grouprun, work

Antonymsmalfunction, misfunction

5. work (creation) shape, form, or improve a material

SamplesWork stone into tools.
Process iron.
Work the metal.

Synonymsprocess, work on

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)transform, transmute, transubstantiate

Narrower (hyponym)cold work, coldwork, hot-work, make over, overwork, rack, retread, rework, till, tool

Verb groupforge, form, mold, mould, shape, work

6. work (body) give a workout to

SamplesSome parents exercise their infants.
My personal trainer works me hard.
Work one's muscles.
This puzzle will exercise your mind.

ExamplesThey work the animals

Synonymsexercise, work out

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)put to work, work

Narrower (hyponym)warm up

Causeexercise, work out

Verb groupexercise, work out

7. work (motion) proceed along a path

SamplesWork one's way through the crowd.
Make one's way into the forest.

ExamplesThey work up the hill


Pattern of useSomething is ----ing PP.
Somebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)go across, go through, pass

Narrower (hyponym)bushwhack, claw, jostle

Verb groupwork

8. work (social) operate in a certain place, area, or specialty

SamplesShe works the night clubs.
The salesman works the Midwest.
This artist works mostly in acrylics.

ExamplesThey work in the city

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)work

Verb groupdo work, work

9. work (social) proceed towards a goal or along a path or through an activity

SamplesWork 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.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)go, move, proceed

Verb groupmake, work

10. work (motion) move in an agitated manner

SamplesHis fingers worked with tension.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)displace, move

11. work (creation) cause to happen or to occur as a consequence

SamplesI cannot work a miracle.
Wreak havoc.
Bring comments.
Play a joke.
The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken area.

Synonymsbring, make for, play, wreak

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)create, make

Verb groupact, work

12. work (social) cause to work

SamplesHe is working his servants hard.

ExamplesThey work the animals

Synonymsput to work

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize

Narrower (hyponym)computerise, computerize, cybernate, exercise, exploit, overwork, rack, warm up, work, work out

Causedo work, work

Verb groupdo work, work

13. work (creation) prepare for crops

SamplesWork the soil.
Cultivate the land.

Synonymscrop, cultivate

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)fix, gear up, prepare, ready, set, set up

Narrower (hyponym)overcrop, overcultivate

Verb groupknead, work

Domain categoryagriculture, farming, husbandry

14. work (stative) behave in a certain way when handled

SamplesThis dough does not work easily.
The soft metal works well.

Pattern of useSomething ----s Adjective/Noun

Broader (hypernym)be

Verb groupknead, work

15. work (social) have and exert influence or effect

SamplesThe artist's work influenced the young painter.
She worked on her friends to support the political candidate.

Synonymsact upon, influence

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody.
Something ----s something.
Somebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)affect, bear on, bear upon, impact, touch, touch on

Narrower (hyponym)blackjack, blackmail, carry, color, colour, dominate, fix, form, get at, imprint, manipulate, militate, persuade, prejudice, prepossess, pressure, pull strings, pull wires, sway, swing, swing over

16. work (social) operate in or through

SamplesWork the phones.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)operate, run

Verb groupfunction, go, operate, run, work, work

17. work (social) cause to operate or function

SamplesThis pilot works the controls.
Can you work an electric drill?.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)care, deal, handle, manage

Verb groupwork

18. work (perception) provoke or excite

SamplesThe rock musician worked the crowd of young girls into a frenzy.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)excite, stimulate, stir

Verb groupexploit, work, work

19. work (emotion) gratify and charm, usually in order to influence

SamplesThe political candidate worked the crowds.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)becharm, beguile, bewitch, captivate, capture, catch, charm, enamor, enamour, enchant, entrance, fascinate, trance

Verb groupwork

20. work (creation) make something, usually for a specific function

SamplesShe molded the rice balls carefully.
Form cylinders from the dough.
Shape a figure.
Work the metal into a sword.

Synonymsforge, form, mold, mould, shape

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s something PP

Broader (hypernym)create from raw material, create from raw stuff

Narrower (hyponym)beat, carve, cast, chip, coil, cut out, grind, hand-build, handbuild, hill, layer, machine, model, mold, mold, mould, mould, mound, preform, preform, puddle, remold, reshape, roughcast, sculpt, sculpture, sinter, stamp, swage, throw, upset

Verb groupprocess, work, work on

21. work (contact) move into or onto

SamplesWork the raisins into the dough.
The student worked a few jokes into his presentation.
Work the body onto the flatbed truck.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)displace, move

Narrower (hyponym)stir

22. work (contact) make uniform

SamplesKnead dough.
Work the clay until it is soft.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)manipulate

Narrower (hyponym)masticate, proof

Verb groupcrop, cultivate, work, work

23. work (consumption) use or manipulate to one's advantage

SamplesHe exploit the new taxation system.
She knows how to work the system.
He works his parents for sympathy.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize

Narrower (hyponym)avail, feed, help, make hay, play, prey, use

Verb groupwork

24. work (cognition) find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of

SamplesDid 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.

Synonymsfigure out, lick, puzzle out, solve, work out

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)understand

Narrower (hyponym)answer, answer, break, guess, infer, resolve, riddle, strike


25. work (change) cause to undergo fermentation

SamplesWe ferment the grapes for a very long time to achieve high alcohol content.
The vintner worked the wine in big oak vats.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)convert

Narrower (hyponym)vinify

Causeferment, sour, turn, work

Verb groupferment, sour, turn, work

26. work (change) go sour or spoil

SamplesThe milk has soured.
The wine worked.
The cream has turned--we have to throw it out.

Synonymsferment, sour, turn

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)change state, turn

Verb groupferment, work

27. work (change) arrive at a certain condition through repeated motion

SamplesThe stitches of the hem worked loose after she wore the skirt many times.

Pattern of useSomething ----s Adjective/Noun

Broader (hypernym)become, get, go

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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