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work Idioms & Phrases


a piece of work

  • a disparaging term for a person considered to have an excess of some undesirable quality; esp. difficult or eccentric person.
Webster 1913

at work

  • adjective satellite on the job
    • had been at work for over an hour before her boss arrived
WordNet

bantam work

Ban"tam work`
Definitions
  1. Carved and painted work in imitation of Japan ware.
Webster 1913

Basket work

  • work consisting of plaited osiers or twigs.
Webster 1913

Berlin work

  • worsted embroidery.
Webster 1913

body of work

  • noun the total output of a writer or artist (or a substantial part of it)
    oeuvre; work.
    • he studied the entire Wagnerian oeuvre
    • Picasso's work can be divided into periods
WordNet

Bolster work

  • (Arch.), members which are bellied or curved outward like cushions, as in friezes of certain classical styles.
Webster 1913

Brick works

  • a place where bricks are made.
Webster 1913

Church work

  • work on, or in behalf of, a church; the work of a particular church for the spread of religion.
Webster 1913

coal works

Coal" works
Definitions
  1. A place where coal is dug, including the machinery for raising the coal.
Webster 1913

cold work

  • verb shape (metal) without heat
    coldwork.
WordNet

copper works

Cop"per works
Definitions
  1. A place where copper is wrought or manufactured. Woodward.
Webster 1913

Crown work

  • . See in the Vocabulary.
Webster 1913

Day's work

  • (Naut.), the account or reckoning of a ship's course for twenty-four hours, from noon to noon.
Webster 1913

detective work

  • noun a police investigation to determine the perpetrator
    detection; sleuthing; detecting.
    • detection is hard on the feet
WordNet

do work

  • verb be employed
    work.
    • 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
WordNet

dramatic work

  • noun a play for performance on the stage or television or in a movie etc.
    dramatic composition.
WordNet

Drawn work

  • ornamental work made by drawing out threads from fine cloth, and uniting the cross threads, to form a pattern.
Webster 1913

dye-works

  • noun a workshop where dyeing is done
WordNet

electrical work

  • noun the craft of an electrician
WordNet

False works

  • (Civil Engin.), construction works to facilitate the erection of the main work, as scaffolding, bridge centering, etc.
Webster 1913

field work

  • noun an investigation carried out in the field rather than in a laboratory or headquarters
WordNet

Finished work

  • (Mach.), work that is made smooth or polished, though not necessarily completed.
Webster 1913

Gas works

  • a manufactory of gas, with all the machinery and appurtenances; a place where gas is generated for lighting cities.
Webster 1913

Gingerbread work

  • ornamentation, in architecture or decoration, of a fantastic, trivial, or tawdry character.
Webster 1913

Glass works

  • an establishment where glass is made.
Webster 1913

grotto-work

Grot"to-work` noun
Definitions
  1. Artificial and ornamental rockwork in imitation of a grotto. Cowper.
Webster 1913

Hand work, ∨ Handwork

  • work done with the hands, as distinguished from work done by a machine; handiwork.
Webster 1913

hand-work

Hand"-work` noun
Definitions
  1. See Handiwork.
Webster 1913

high-wrought

High"-wrought` adjective
Definitions
  1. Wrought with fine art or skill; elaborate. Obs. Pope.
  2. Worked up, or swollen, to a high degree; as, a highwrought passion. "A high-wrought flood." Shak.
Webster 1913

hot-work

  • verb roll, press, forge, or shape (metal) while hot
WordNet

hot-work steel

  • noun an alloy steel that remains hard at a red heat; used to make metal-cutting tools
    high-speed steel.
WordNet

Iron works

  • a furnace where iron is smelted, or a forge, rolling mill, or foundry, where it is made into heavy work, such as shafting, rails, cannon, merchant bar, etc.
Webster 1913

line of work

  • noun the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money
    job; line; business; occupation.
    • he's not in my line of business
WordNet

Lip work

  • . (a) Talk . (b) Kissing. Humorous B. Jonson.
Webster 1913

literary work

  • noun imaginative or creative writing
    literary composition.
WordNet

Loam work

  • loam molding or loam molds.
Webster 1913

Louver work

  • slatted work.
Webster 1913

Machine work

  • work done by a machine, in contradistinction to that done by hand labor.
Webster 1913

make-work

  • noun active work of little value
    busywork.
    • while he was waiting he filled the days with busywork
WordNet

Master work

  • the most important work accomplished by a skilled person, as in architecture, literature, etc.; also, a work which shows the skill of a master; a masterpiece.
Webster 1913

missionary work

  • noun the organized work of a religious missionary
    mission.
WordNet

Mosaic work

  • . See Mosaic, n.
Webster 1913

Muscular work

  • (Physiol.), the work done by a muscle through the power of contraction.
Webster 1913

Neat work

  • work built or formed to neat lines.
Webster 1913

Nulled work

  • (Cabinetwork), ornamental turned work resembling nulls or beads strung on a rod.
Webster 1913

out of work

  • adjective satellite not having a job
    idle; jobless.
    • idle carpenters
    • jobless transients
    • many people in the area were out of work
WordNet

Overhead work

  • a general term in manufactories for countershafting and gearing, when overhead.
Webster 1913

piece of work

  • noun a product produced or accomplished through the effort or activity or agency of a person or thing
    work.
    • 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
WordNet

police work

  • noun the investigation of criminal activities
    police investigation.
WordNet

  • a factory where cloth, as calico, is printed.
Webster 1913

Public works

  • noun structures (such as highways or schools or bridges or docks) constructed at government expense for public use
WordNet
  • all fixed works built by civil engineers for public use, as railways, docks, canals, etc.; but strictly, military and civil engineering works constructed at the public cost.
Webster 1913

Purfled work

  • (Arch.), delicate tracery, especially in Gothic architecture.
Webster 1913

put to work

  • verb cause to work
    work.
    • he is working his servants hard
WordNet

Random work

  • (Masonry), stonework consisting of stones of unequal sizes fitted together, but not in courses nor always with flat beds.
Webster 1913

Range work

  • (Masonry), masonry of squared stones laid in courses each of which is of even height throughout the length of the wall; distinguished from broken range work, which consists of squared stones laid in courses not continuously of even height.
Webster 1913

reference work

  • noun a book to which you can refer for authoritative facts
    book of facts; reference; reference book.
    • he contributed articles to the basic reference work on that topic
WordNet

Repoussé work

  • ornamentation of metal in relief by pressing or hammering on the reverse side.
Webster 1913

Reticulated work

  • (Masonry), work constructed with diamond-shaped stones, or square stones placed diagonally.
Webster 1913

Rustic work

  • . (a) (Arch.) Cut stone facing which has the joints worked with grooves or channels, the face of each block projecting beyond the joint, so that the joints are very conspicuous . (b) (Arch. & Woodwork) Summer houses, or furniture for summer houses, etc., made of rough limbs of trees fancifully arranged.
Webster 1913

sabrina work

Sa*bri"na work`
Definitions
  1. A variety of appliqué work for quilts, table covers, etc. Caulfeild & S. (Dict. of Needlework).
Webster 1913

scut work

  • noun trivial, unrewarding, tedious, dirty, and disagreeable chores
    shitwork.
    • the hospital hired him to do scut work
WordNet

sewage works

  • noun facility consisting of a system of sewers for carrying off liquid and solid sewage
    sewage system; sewer system.
WordNet

sheet-metal work

  • noun the craft of doing sheet metal work (as in ventilation systems)
WordNet

social work

  • noun any of various services designed to aid the poor and aged and to increase the welfare of children
WordNet

sorrento work

Sor"ren"to work`
Definitions
  1. Ornamental work, mostly carved in olivewood, decorated with inlay, made at or near Sorrento, Italy. Hence, more rarely, jig-saw work and the like done anywhere.
Webster 1913

Stream works

  • (Cornish Mining), a place where an alluvial deposit of tin ore is worked. Ure.
Webster 1913

To go to work

  • to begin laboring; to commence operations; to contrive; to manage. "I 'll go another way to work with him." Shak.
Webster 1913

To set at work, ∨ To set to work

  • . (a) To cause to enter on work or action, or to direct how tu enter on work. (b) To apply one's self; used reflexively.
Webster 1913

To set on work

  • to cause to begin laboring; to set to work. Obs. Hooker.
Webster 1913

To set to work

  • to employ; to cause to engage in any business or labor.
Webster 1913

To strike work

  • to quit work; to go on a strike.
Webster 1913

To work a passage

  • (Naut.), to pay for a passage by doing work.
Webster 1913

To work at

  • to be engaged in or upon; to be employed in.
Webster 1913

To work at arm's length

  • to work disadvantageously.
Webster 1913

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.
Webster 1913

To work in

  • to insert, introduce, mingle, or interweave by labor or skill.
Webster 1913

To work into

  • to force, urge, or insinuate into; as, to work one's self into favor or confidence.
Webster 1913

To work off

  • to remove gradually, as by labor, or a gradual process; as, beer works off impurities in fermenting.
Webster 1913

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.
Webster 1913

To work the goafgob

  • to remove the pillars of mineral matter previously left to support the roof, and replace them with props. Ure.
Webster 1913

To work to windward

  • (Naut.), to sail or ply against the wind; to tack to windward. Mar. Dict.
Webster 1913

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 heads, Works up more fire and color in their cheeks. Addison.
    (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.
Webster 1913

tool-and-die work

  • noun the craft of making special tools and dies
WordNet

Topiary work

  • arbors, shrubbery, hedges, or the like, cut and trimmed into fanciful forms, as of animals, building, etc.
Webster 1913

tut-work

Tut"-work` noun
Definitions
  1. (Mining) Work done by the piece, as in nonmetaliferous rock, the amount done being usually reckoned by the fathom. Tomlinson.
Webster 1913

undercover work

  • noun the act of keeping a secret watch for intelligence purposes
    spying.
WordNet

Unit of work

  • (Physics), the amount of work done by a unit force acting through a unit distance, or the amount required to lift a unit weight through a unit distance against gravitation. See Erg, Foot Pound, Kilogrammeter.
Webster 1913

Upper works

  • (Naut.), all those parts of the hull of a vessel that are properly above water.
Webster 1913

Vermiculated work, ∨ Vermicular work

  • (Arch.), rustic work so wrought as to have the appearance of convoluted worms, or of having been eaten into by, or covered with tracks of, worms.
Webster 1913

Virtual work

  • . (Mech.) See Virtual moment, above.
Webster 1913

welfare work

  • noun an organized activity to improve the condition of disadvantaged people in society
    social service.
WordNet

whole works

  • noun everything available; usually preceded by `the'
    whole caboodle; kit and boodle; whole kit and boodle; whole kit and caboodle; full treatment; whole kit; kit and caboodle; whole shebang; works.
    • we saw the whole shebang
    • a hotdog with the works
    • we took on the whole caboodle
    • for $10 you get the full treatment
WordNet

wonder-working

Won"der-work`ing adjective
Definitions
  1. Doing wonders or surprising things.
Webster 1913

work animal

  • noun an animal trained for and used for heavy labor
WordNet

work at

  • verb to exert effort in order to do, make, or perform something
    work at.
    • the child worked at the multiplication table until she had it down cold
WordNet

work bench

  • noun a strong worktable for a carpenter or mechanic
    workbench; bench.
WordNet

work camp

  • noun a camp for trustworthy prisoners employed in government projects
    prison camp; prison farm.
WordNet

work day

  • noun a day on which work is done
    workday; work day.
WordNet

work flow

  • noun progress (or rate of progress) in work being done
    workflow.
WordNet

work force

  • noun the force of workers available
    hands; manpower; men; workforce.
WordNet

work in

  • verb add by mixing or blending on or attaching
    • work in the butter and the dough will get the right consistency
    • In his speech, the presidential candidate worked in a lot of learned words
WordNet

work in progress

  • noun a piece of work that is not yet finished
WordNet

work load

  • noun work that a person is expected to do in a specified time
    workload.
WordNet

work of art

  • noun art that is a product of one of the fine arts (especially a painting or sculpture of artistic merit)
WordNet

work off

  • verb cause to go away through effort or work
    • work off the extra pounds you have gained over the holidays
    • we must work off the debt
WordNet

work on

  • verb to exert effort in order to do, make, or perform something
    work at.
    • the child worked at the multiplication table until she had it down cold
  • verb shape, form, or improve a material
    process; work.
    • work stone into tools
    • process iron
    • work the metal
WordNet

work out

  • verb come up with
    work out.
    • His colleagues worked out his interesting idea
    • We worked up an ad for our client
  • verb happen in a certain way, leading to, producing, or resulting in a certain outcome, often well
    • Things worked out in an interesting way
    • Not everything worked out in the end and we were disappointed
  • verb work out in detail
    elaborate.
    • elaborate a plan
  • verb do physical exercise
    exercise.
    • She works out in the gym every day
  • verb be calculated
    • The fees work out to less than $1,000
  • verb make a mathematical calculation or computation
    cypher; compute; calculate; reckon; cipher; figure.
  • verb find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of
    lick; work; puzzle out; solve; figure out.
    • 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
  • verb give a workout to
    work; exercise.
    • Some parents exercise their infants
    • My personal trainer works me hard
    • work one's muscles
    • this puzzle will exercise your mind
WordNet

work over

  • verb give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression
    beat; beat up.
    • Thugs beat him up when he walked down the street late at night
    • The teacher used to beat the students
WordNet

work papers

  • noun a legal document giving information required for employment of certain people in certain countries
    work papers; work permit.
WordNet

work party

  • noun an organized group of workmen
    gang; crew.
WordNet

work permit

  • noun a legal document giving information required for employment of certain people in certain countries
    work papers; work permit.
WordNet

work shift

  • noun the time period during which you are at work
    shift; duty period.
WordNet

work shoe

  • noun a thick and heavy shoe
    brogan; clodhopper; brogue.
WordNet

work song

  • noun a usually rhythmical song to accompany repetitious work
WordNet

work stoppage

  • noun a group's refusal to work in protest against low pay or bad work conditions
    strike.
    • the strike lasted more than a month before it was settled
WordNet

work study

  • noun an analysis of a specific job in an effort to find the most efficient method in terms of time and effort
    time and motion study; motion study; time-motion study; time study; time-and-motion study.
WordNet

work surface

  • noun a horizontal surface for supporting objects used in working or playing games
WordNet

work table

  • noun a table designed for a particular task
    worktable.
WordNet

work through

  • verb apply thoroughly; think through
    go through; run through.
    • We worked through an example
WordNet

work time

  • noun a time period when you are required to work
WordNet

work to rule

  • noun a job action in which workers cause a slowdown by doing only the minimum amount required by the rules of the workplace
WordNet

work unit

  • noun a unit of measurement for work
    energy unit; heat unit.
WordNet

work up

  • verb form or accumulate steadily
    build up; progress; build.
    • Resistance to the manager's plan built up quickly
    • Pressure is building up at the Indian-Pakistani border
  • verb develop
    get up.
    • we worked up an as of an appetite
  • verb bolster or strengthen
    build up; build; ramp up.
    • We worked up courage
    • build up confidence
    • ramp up security in the airports
  • verb come up with
    work out.
    • His colleagues worked out his interesting idea
    • We worked up an ad for our client
WordNet

work-board

  • noun a horizontal board that provides a supported surface for manual work
    workboard.
WordNet

work-clothes

  • noun clothing worn for doing manual labor
    work-clothes.
WordNet

work-clothing

  • noun clothing worn for doing manual labor
    work-clothes.
WordNet

work-in

  • noun occasion when workers continue to work as a protest against e.g. proposed dismissal or closure of the factory
WordNet

work-shirt

  • noun heavy-duty shirts worn for manual or physical work
WordNet

work-shy

  • adjective satellite disinclined to work or exertion
    lazy; slothful; indolent; faineant; otiose.
    • faineant kings under whose rule the country languished
    • an indolent hanger-on
    • too lazy to wash the dishes
    • shiftless idle youth
    • slothful employees
    • the unemployed are not necessarily work-shy
WordNet

work-study program

  • noun an educational plan in which students alternate between paid employment and formal study
WordNet

worked up

  • adjective satellite (of persons) excessively affected by emotion
    emotional; aroused; excited.
    • he would become emotional over nothing at all
    • she was worked up about all the noise
WordNet

working agreement

  • noun an informal agreement to work together
WordNet

working capital

  • noun assets available for use in the production of further assets
    capital.
WordNet

working class

  • noun a social class comprising those who do manual labor or work for wages
    labour; proletariat; labor.
    • there is a shortage of skilled labor in this field
WordNet

working day

  • noun a day on which work is done
    workday; work day.
  • noun the amount of time that a worker must work for an agreed daily wage
    workday.
    • they work an 8-hour day
WordNet

working dog

  • noun any of several breeds of usually large powerful dogs bred to work as draft animals and guard and guide dogs
WordNet

working girl

  • noun a young woman who is employed
  • noun a woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money
    fancy woman; woman of the street; bawd; sporting lady; cocotte; lady of pleasure; prostitute; harlot; cyprian; whore; tart.
WordNet

working group

  • noun a group of people working together temporarily until some goal is achieved
    working group.
    • the working group was supposed to report back in two weeks
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working man

  • noun an employee who performs manual or industrial labor
    workman; working man; workingman.
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working memory

  • noun memory for intermediate results that must be held during thinking
WordNet

working out

  • noun developing in intricate and painstaking detail
    elaboration.
WordNet

working papers

  • noun records kept of activities involved in carrying out a project
    • the auditor was required to produce his working papers
  • noun a legal document giving information required for employment of certain people in certain countries
    work papers; work permit.
WordNet

working party

  • noun a group of people working together temporarily until some goal is achieved
    working group.
    • the working group was supposed to report back in two weeks
WordNet

working person

  • noun an employee who performs manual or industrial labor
    workman; working man; workingman.
WordNet

working principle

  • noun a rule that is adequate to permit work to be done
    working principle.
WordNet

working rule

  • noun a rule that is adequate to permit work to be done
    working principle.
WordNet

working-class

  • adjective satellite of those who work for wages especially manual or industrial laborers
    propertyless; wage-earning; blue-collar.
    • party of the propertyless proletariat"- G.B.Shaw
  • adjective satellite working for hourly wages rather than fixed (e.g. annual) salaries
    wage-earning.
    • working-class occupations include manual as well as industrial labor
WordNet

working-day

Work"ing-day adjective
Definitions
  1. Pertaining to, or characteristic of, working days, or workdays; everyday; hence, plodding; hard-working.
    O, how full of briers in this working-day world. Shak.
Webster 1913

works council

  • noun (chiefly Brit) a council representing employer and employees of a plant or business to discuss working conditions etc; also: a committee representing the workers elected to negotiate with management about grievances and wages etc
WordNet

works program

  • noun a program to provide jobs on public works paid for by government funds
WordNet

wrought iron

  • noun iron having a low carbon content that is tough and malleable and so can be forged and welded
WordNet

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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