Definition of working in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwərkiNG/


1Having paid employment: the size of the working population
More example sentences
  • Over half the women who are employed in most urban areas are working mothers.
  • A third of the working population in the Western Isles were employed by the local authority.
  • A large section of the working population already have ID as a condition of their employment.
employed, in (gainful) employment, in work, waged
1.1Engaged in manual labor: the vote is no longer sufficient protection for the working man
More example sentences
  • "I guess you'd say I'm kind of a working man's lawyer."
  • Is cycling still a working man's sport?
1.2Relating to, suitable for, or for the purpose of work: improvements in living and working conditions
More example sentences
  • Therefore we shall be in a position to offer attractive wages and suitable working conditions.
  • I'm also prepared to stand up and be counted though, if I feel strongly about issues that affect my working conditions.
  • Other outstanding issues include working conditions and workplace safety.
1.3(Of an animal) used in farming, hunting, or for guard duties; not kept as a pet or for show.
Example sentences
  • It was also a chance for city dwellers to take a closer look at ferrets, birds of prey and working dogs.
  • Perhaps one-third of the land under crop was taken up by oats grown to feed a farm's own working horses.
  • There is a myth that the animals get fat and lazy and that working dogs no longer work but none of that is the case.
1.4(Of something possessed) sufficient to work with: they have a working knowledge of contract law
More example sentences
  • A working knowledge of basic mathematical concepts is essential in modern life.
  • But a working knowledge of English is not necessary for daily life in Greenland.
  • And as a way of indicating the process by which she acquired a working knowledge of the city around her, it rings untrue.
sufficient, adequate, viable;
useful, effective
1.5(Of a theory, definition, or title) used as the basis for work or argument and likely to be developed, adapted, or improved later: the working hypothesis is tested and refined through discussion
More example sentences
  • In conducting the search, we had to develop a working definition of each term.
  • On the basis of the results a working hypothesis has been developed which is summarized in Fig.7.
  • So we must accept a working definition at some point, and go with it, flaws and all.
2Functioning or able to function: the mill still has a working waterwheel
More example sentences
  • Judges moving among the audience keenly observed the working models and rated the best projects.
  • While the idea of creating actual working models was pretty cool, the actual execution was far from satisfying.
  • The students made use of charts and working models to explain their experiments.
functioning, operating, running, active, operational, functional, serviceable
informal up and running
2.1(Of parts of a machine) moving and causing a machine to operate: the working parts of a digital watch
More example sentences
  • Listen, if you take a working part out of a machine you end up with junk!
  • Such systems have multiple working parts, each of which is essential for function.
  • The notion of using molecules as the working elements of a computer goes back several decades.


1The action of doing work.
Example sentences
  • Maybe something to do with social work or working for an aid organisation overseas.
  • This was a direct result of working with them at the studio radio station.
  • I'm surprised this is not a more frequent event with the daily working of school buses.
1.1 (usually workings) A mine or a part of a mine from which minerals are being extracted.
Example sentences
  • Unbeknownst to them, the dam was constructed over five disused mine shafts, which led into the underground workings of an old mine.
  • The campsite at La Torerera, near the town of Huelva in the southwest corner of Andalucia, is on the site of old mineral workings, now partly a nature reserve.
  • He was an engineer by profession, and used to look after the engines and trucks which ran on the light railways out to the more distant parts of the opencast mine workings.
2 (workings) The way in which a machine, organization, or system operates: we will be less secretive about the workings of government
More example sentences
  • And being a politician helps me get good raw material about the inside workings of governments and organizations.
  • The structure of the political system and the workings of that system favour those who have economic influence.
  • And they also had to study up on DNA science and the workings of the legal system.
functioning, operation, running, action, performance
mechanism, machinery, parts, movement, action, works
informal insides


working lunch (or dinner, etc.)

A lunch (or dinner, etc.) at which those present discuss business.

Words that rhyme with working


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: work·ing

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