Definition of working in US English:

working

adjective

  • 1Having paid employment.

    ‘the size of the working population’
    • ‘Where is this compassionate Government that cares for the working person and the employee?’
    • ‘Despite this, many working mothers encounter few problems and have supportive employers.’
    • ‘The failure of schools to offer working mothers more flexibility, she believes, remains the major stumbling block.’
    • ‘Her stories are told without censure, and with sympathy for both children and parents, especially working mothers.’
    • ‘Moreover these old industries now employ only a tiny fraction of the working population.’
    • ‘A third of the working population in the Western Isles were employed by the local authority.’
    • ‘It is not uncommon for nursing working mothers to make a lunchtime dash for a car, plug into the cigarette lighter and pump away in the parking lot.’
    • ‘A large section of the working population already have ID as a condition of their employment.’
    • ‘Scotland is facing a serious future skills gap with an ageing and shrinking working population, according to a new study.’
    • ‘So why do we not demand more of these productivity gains back in practical support for working mothers and fathers?’
    • ‘That includes trying to increase the working population in Scotland.’
    • ‘Only another working mother can fully realize what my life has become.’
    • ‘They thus contributed to the further political disorientation of the working population.’
    • ‘Most of the working women are employed as seamstresses in the dressmaking industry.’
    • ‘When are we going to get something done about this pampered section of the working population?’
    • ‘Personal pensions were set up because the working population has become more mobile.’
    • ‘It is nearer one tenth of the population or one fifth of the working population.’
    • ‘Over half the women who are employed in most urban areas are working mothers.’
    • ‘The 1980s and 1990s were decades of progress for western career women and working mothers.’
    • ‘This affects, directly or indirectly, more than half the working population of this country.’
    employed, in work, in a job, waged, in gainful employment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Engaged in manual labor.
      ‘the vote is no longer sufficient protection for the working man’
      • ‘Is cycling still a working man's sport?’
      • ‘"I guess you'd say I'm kind of a working man's lawyer."’
    2. 1.2 Relating to, suitable for, or for the purpose of work.
      ‘improvements in living and working conditions’
      • ‘It has produced unfriendly working conditions for people with families.’
      • ‘Does an employee have a duty not to bad-mouth their employer out of working hours?’
      • ‘Mick woke up, got washed and shaved and put his working clothes on thinking it was 7.30 am Monday morning.’
      • ‘He was a well-known advocate for better working conditions and higher pay for Cambodian workers.’
      • ‘Employees are often forced to work a seven-day week and complain of low wages and poor working conditions.’
      • ‘Flexible working rules allow an employee to look after a child up to the age of six.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If hired as a runner, always, always get a signed contract with your working terms and conditions.’
      • ‘Now if you want to be totally stupid about it that could work out at almost a year in the working life of an employee.’
      • ‘Although unemployment is still rising, this is only because job creation is not keeping pace with the population of working age.’
      • ‘Another 200,000 died from hunger, disease, and inhumane working conditions.’
      • ‘Notwithstanding the difficult working conditions, a major inroad was made.’
      • ‘The Victorian Building Workers campaign for a shorter working week was also discussed at length.’
      • ‘In May, workers walked off the job to protest unsafe working conditions.’
      • ‘To reserve a place on the small business wirefree working seminar call 0208 232 7229.’
      • ‘Full employment through shorter working hours at worker co-ops was the ideal.’
      • ‘Therefore we shall be in a position to offer attractive wages and suitable working conditions.’
      • ‘These passes provide pensioners, many of whom have worked hard all their working lives and paid taxes, with free travel.’
      • ‘The Smiths have cook-ins during the weekends to make meals for the working week using fresh produce.’
    3. 1.3 (of an animal) used in farming, hunting, or for guard duties; not kept as a pet or for show.
      • ‘It was also a chance for city dwellers to take a closer look at ferrets, birds of prey and working dogs.’
      • ‘In future docking will only be allowed for working dogs whose tails could otherwise become painfully damaged.’
      • ‘He said the dogs were treated as working dogs rather than as pets but were still loved by their handlers.’
      • ‘Hunt supporters from the region will be taking dozens of working dogs to protest against the ban outside Parliament.’
      • ‘The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association says it is cruel to keep the working dog locked up for eight hours each day.’
      • ‘Many graziers in the Far West of New South Wales rely on working dogs to help round up goats.’
      • ‘Again looking back in history, the Celts were good farmers and set great store by their working dogs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ms Lloyd said cacti could injure livestock and working dogs and contaminate wool.’
      • ‘Some working dogs go to the armed forces or the police, as German Shepherds are one of the largest groups in the home.’
      • ‘A horse could live on hay and grass alone, but eating time and bulk both had to be reduced for a working horse.’
      • ‘He was also a renowned and skilful dog trainer and was never without a good working dog.’
      • ‘They are bred for hunting and are designed to be working dogs.’
      • ‘As a working dog, this breed is always happiest when it is given a job to do.’
      • ‘Perhaps one-third of the land under crop was taken up by oats grown to feed a farm's own working horses.’
      • ‘In summary, it appears that stomach ulcers are a common finding in foals and working horses.’
      • ‘The dog, described as a white collie, is a working dog and has never been missing for this long without returning.’
      • ‘So therefore there is no reason they cant be pets rather than working dogs.’
      • ‘There is work around livestock that simply can't be done without a real working dog.’
      • ‘During the time that the baits were out, our three yard and working dogs were on the chain.’
  • 2Functioning or able to function.

    ‘the mill still has a working waterwheel’
    • ‘Therefore, the working model presented provides only a rough picture of what is really going on.’
    • ‘Also, at the time, his mobile was one of the few working numbers that the Australian media were able to reach when the story broke.’
    • ‘Tony already has a working model of the pendulum in his research room.’
    • ‘Those were the days when a patent application had to be accompanied by a working model.’
    • ‘The objective of the project is to research and make a working model of a body system.’
    • ‘The highlight of this particular gallery will be the large working scale model of the Town Mill.’
    • ‘Back then, Boeing engineers used the wind tunnel model to create new and working designs.’
    • ‘Is it like geography, hundreds of years before we can build a working model?’
    • ‘What industry would benefit from a large database of known working email addresses?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service stresses the importance of having a working smoke alarm.’
    • ‘The students made use of charts and working models to explain their experiments.’
    • ‘So, it's difficult to create a working model to handle the relief logistics ahead of time.’
    • ‘Class Two involves the design and manufacture of a working car chassis as well as competing in numerous static events.’
    • ‘Additional data is now being collected to set up a working model for managing traffic flow.’
    • ‘So all these things together, you're all of a sudden seeing a working business model.’
    • ‘At first it was powered by the River Bollin and there is still a working water wheel for visitors to see and especially to hear.’
    • ‘Having said that, it will be interesting to see how a working model actually feels in use.’
    • ‘Williams says that although in many cases scientists have worked out how it happens, he wants to build a working model of the process.’
    functioning, operating, going, running, active
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of parts of a machine) moving and causing a machine to operate.
      ‘the working parts of a digital watch’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Listen, if you take a working part out of a machine you end up with junk!’
      in motion, operating, operational, going, on the move, active
      View synonyms
  • 3(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’
    • ‘I wrote an original screenplay for a film which has the working title Personal Honour.’
    • ‘The working definition of insomnia is a persistent difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep.’
    • ‘Take the case of accepting something as a working hypothesis or for the sake of argument.’
    • ‘In conducting the search, we had to develop a working definition of each term.’
    • ‘This, of course, is all debatable as well, but it at least seems like a working hypothesis.’
    • ‘No one knows for sure, but there is a working theory currently making the rounds.’
    • ‘Power and Stone - the working title of the book - will be published next May.’
    • ‘Now that we have a working definition of money, we can now move on to defining what the supply of it is in a given economy.’
    • ‘The working title for the conversion is the Skerryvore Project.’
    • ‘It has a working title and even that's more than I've managed to create in ages.’
    • ‘So we must accept a working definition at some point, and go with it, flaws and all.’
    • ‘I'm definitely going to have to take some time to formulate a working theory in my own mind.’
    • ‘Then, each interviewee was asked how the working definition compares with his or her own.’
    • ‘Can we establish a working theory to explain these exceptions, and what consequences might this have?’
    • ‘The maths game, which has the working title Pirate's Star, is being devised by software developers at Abertay.’
    • ‘On the basis of the results a working hypothesis has been developed which is summarized in Fig.7.’
    • ‘To endow it with some interest, we need to break it down into a set of working theories which we then apply to different domains of fact.’
    • ‘Is there a working definition that people have agreed on in order to facilitate discussion?’
    • ‘I'm going to use that as my working definition of gumption from now on.’
    • ‘But here, as with other mental states, we need a working definition to clarify what we are looking for.’
    temporary, provisional, interim, pro tem, short-term, makeshift, improvised, emergency, impromptu, rough and ready
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    1. 3.1 (of something possessed) sufficient to work with.
      ‘they have a working knowledge of contract law’
      • ‘And of course a working knowledge of the properties of metals could easily lend itself to deception and fraud.’
      • ‘Although anyone with a working knowledge of PCs can set up their own back up system relatively simply, not everyone knows how.’
      • ‘And as a way of indicating the process by which she acquired a working knowledge of the city around her, it rings untrue.’
      • ‘Postgraduate study and a working knowledge of the latest industry advances are key.’
      • ‘But not all of you will require a working knowledge of English grammar to get by in life.’
      • ‘He had a working knowledge of five languages and was fluent in four.’
      • ‘Read on to gain a working knowledge of the tremendous range of mowers available today.’
      • ‘After helping him on a few houses, I gained a working knowledge of the proper use of fittings.’
      • ‘A working knowledge of basic mathematical concepts is essential in modern life.’
      • ‘They cover terms that provide the beginnings of a viable working vocabulary for describing meter.’
      • ‘Women in rural areas must be able to have a basic working knowledge of what is in the Domestic Violence Act.’
      • ‘He still must gain a working knowledge of a sophisticated offense before he becomes a threat.’
      • ‘He has a working knowledge of French, but for some reason does not get on well with the French boys.’
      • ‘All you need to bring with you is a working knowledge of the language in which you intend to write, a pad and a pencil.’
      • ‘But a working knowledge of English is not necessary for daily life in Greenland.’
      • ‘It was sheer luck that, by the time he was an adult, he had a working knowledge of some of the finest food in the world.’
      • ‘Computer skills are essential, as is a working knowledge of control systems.’
      sufficient, adequate, good enough, viable
      View synonyms

noun

  • 1The action of doing work.

    • ‘She loved working with the school, she saw the students as people.’
    • ‘Some believe that working two shifts will cut hourly machine costs in half.’
    • ‘This was a direct result of working with them at the studio radio station.’
    • ‘I decided to leave school and concentrate on playing golf and working at night.’
    • ‘In class she could barely keep her mind on her work and working at the car shop seemed to go by as quickly as molasses.’
    • ‘He combined working as a warehouse manager in Manchester with singing on the northern club circuit where he met Windsor Davies.’
    • ‘Maybe something to do with social work or working for an aid organisation overseas.’
    • ‘I thought I might take the day off from work, but I think working will actually be good.’
    • ‘BNP already has mainland joint ventures for managing money and working with corporations.’
    • ‘Claims of working for the fictitious water board allowed bogus callers to steal from the home of an elderly Chelmsford resident.’
    • ‘I still find the whole working from home thing a bit of a task.’
    • ‘I'm surprised this is not a more frequent event with the daily working of school buses.’
    • ‘It was great fun to work there and I loved working as a team.’
    • ‘She works in the garden there, particularly enjoying working with flowers.’
    • ‘And Mr Blair said ID cards would help against illegal immigration and working.’
    • ‘He told those attending she had ‘aura, charisma and a precious gift of working with children’.’
    • ‘We need to build our links with the community through coalition work and working with other unions.’
  • 2workingsThe way in which a machine, organization, or system operates.

    ‘we will be less secretive about the workings of government’
    • ‘It is the heat given off by the workings of quite different machinery.’
    • ‘Ultimately, it precludes a collective understanding of the workings of an economic system which destroys people's lives.’
    • ‘And they also had to study up on DNA science and the workings of the legal system.’
    • ‘The media has exposed deceit and fabrication behind the workings of the government machinery and the various commissions set up to look into acts of violence.’
    • ‘We need to be able to have confidence in the justice system and everyone needs to be able to have confidence in the workings of that justice system.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As a result, there is a general suspicion about the truth of statements emerging from the machine about the workings of government policy.’
    • ‘For those who disagree with a judge's opinion, there is ample opportunity to respond within the normal workings of the judicial system.’
    • ‘He gained a lot more insight into the workings of our legal system from his experience than I did from mine.’
    • ‘The public has had the pleasure of an unprecedented and still unfolding expose on the inner workings of a public service operating in a culture of fear.’
    • ‘The internal workings of the machines cannot be examined by citizens, political opponents or technology experts.’
    • ‘Hollywood suffers, as does parliamentary journalism, from a belief that people are far more interested in the inner workings and machinations of the business than they are.’
    • ‘My favorite quote from the book concerns the early workings of American-style democratic politics.’
    • ‘Another potential use for the system is in providing information about the workings of buildings or machinery not visible to the naked eye.’
    • ‘Access to the transparent buildings reproduced a feeling of knowledge, knowledge of the inner workings of both machines and humans.’
    • ‘They are alone with the rollercoaster of emotion even though they are still part of the workings of political machine.’
    • ‘However, with the increasingly detailed knowledge of the workings of the human machine, we began to slowly develop a pattern that might just explain why.’
    • ‘Why should I have to understand the inner workings of this machine?’
    • ‘First, the synthetic systems can serve as a basis to understand the workings of natural systems, which are usually much more complicated and difficult to unravel.’
    functioning, operation, running, action, performance
    mechanism, machinery, moving parts, working parts, movement, action, works
    View synonyms
  • 3usually workingsA mine or a part of a mine from which minerals are being extracted.

    • ‘Caves, tunnels and mine workings may be used to provide cover for communications centers and stations.’
    • ‘This vein trends to the northeast, and it is likely that it intersects the Greenbank vein somewhere to the north of the current mine workings.’
    • ‘Explore the Lowther Hills or wander along lower-level paths, past the old lead mine workings.’
    • ‘He employed thirty to forty men in the mid-1930s and extracted ore from underground workings that were accessed by shafts and declines.’
    • ‘It can play a part in locating old mines by detecting voids and fractures and profiling old workings within the seam.’
    • ‘With the dumps gone, datolite collecting switched to the accessible underground workings of the Michigan mine.’
    • ‘The room and pillar mine workings are stable with no signs of salt movement or rock distress.’
    • ‘Unbeknownst to them, the dam was constructed over five disused mine shafts, which led into the underground workings of an old mine.’
    • ‘It was centered on the Black Iron mine workings.’
    • ‘The ancient mine workings are mostly open-cut trenches of up to a few metres in depth.’
    • ‘The building is surrounded on three sides by the pink-brown textured walls of old quarry workings, so that the archives are held in a granite embrace.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In some instances, subsurface information from drill holes, mine workings, and geophysical surveys provide supporting factual information.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The expected solution is a permanent diversion around the problem, which is a legacy of old mine workings.’
    • ‘On the other hand, wherever intelligence and tractability mattered, as in mine workings and coal pits, and in pulling harvesters and ploughs, horses were the favoured form of power.’
    • ‘Beneath the site there were some disused mine shafts leading to old coal workings which, unknown to the defendants, were connected to the plaintiff's mine.’
    • ‘But the same would be likely to apply to inert waste deposited at the County's exhausted minerals workings or landfill sites.’
    • ‘Just when he moved into the capacious double-cave system, among the old slate quarry workings of Castle Crag, is not certain.’
    • ‘The surrounding area is mostly old mine workings and is close to the River Calder.’

Phrases

  • working lunch (or dinner, etc.)

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

Pronunciation

working

/ˈwərkiNG//ˈwərkɪŋ/