Definition of workman in English:



  • 1A man employed to do manual labour.

    • ‘Fairly accurate records were kept of the hours spent by the various workmen employed on the project.’
    • ‘The workmen are believed to have been employed by North Yorkshire County Council.’
    • ‘The tide had reached the ship, and now the workmen labouring about the hull were ankle deep in water.’
    • ‘Staff were faced with a huge mopping-up operation and workmen were called in to repair the roof.’
    • ‘The employer, notionally, gives the workman an unshaped plank of wood, and receives in return a plank that has been sawn and nailed.’
    • ‘Most of the excavation work will be on the verges but traffic management systems will be in operation on the roads to protect workmen.’
    • ‘The council argue they have been working hard to resolve the issue but Charlotte is refusing to let workmen access the property to repair the damage.’
    • ‘One can readily understand an indemnity against claims brought by workmen in respect of plant or tools belonging to the workmen.’
    • ‘Most claims by workmen against their employers are paid for by a trade union.’
    • ‘He is in receipt of workmen's compensation and has additional income from occasional employment.’
    • ‘The directory even lists hourly rates charged by the workmen - a big bonus if you're on a tight budget.’
    • ‘The centre is closed temporarily while workmen carry out major work including the installation of a lift.’
    • ‘According to residents no workmen had been seen working there since last week, but they were told to expect them back next Monday.’
    • ‘Even today workmen in Coldstones Quarry occasionally cut through old mining levels.’
    • ‘Town councillors claim workmen continued with the removal even after being warned that they were taking away new crosses.’
    • ‘We spent a fair bit of time up there on the roof, measuring this and that, and my father was explaining how he wanted things done to his workmen.’
    • ‘One by one the quarries closed and the workmen were forced to find other employment.’
    • ‘Shipwrights now required a labour force of workmen with a different set of skills who could saw to length and fit a ship together according to plan.’
    • ‘The leaks may have been caused by bad workmanship or by movement caused by workmen on the roof doing maintenance.’
    • ‘We believe that it is okay to charge for healing based on the doctrine, ‘The workman is worthy of his hire.’’
    worker, manual worker, labourer, hand, operative, operator
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    1. 1.1with adjective A person with specified skill in a job or craft.
      ‘you check it through, like all good workmen do’
      • ‘Why can you not attribute to the skilled workman the trade or professional equivalent of Halsbury's Laws of England?’
      • ‘But where does the skilled workman or the skilled addressee stand in the spectrum?’
      • ‘Skilled workmen then cut out the designs in sheet steel and hauled them to the site for assembly.’
      • ‘He was a good and industrious workman in the shop, but both he and his wife were grossly intemperate at home.’
      • ‘I have no idea what he would have made of his pupil, but he's a really good workman with a delicate sense of lyricism.’
      • ‘A skilled workman, Paddy was always working with his hands at home or with the neighbours.’
      • ‘The gearbox had to be removed and, as no spare part was readily available and we wanted to get home to Tyrone, the clutch arm had to be welded up and ground to size by a very skilled workman.’
      • ‘And it's not like he makes a skilled workman's decision.’
      • ‘If there is a bad set of specifications and a bad set of materials no good workman can fix the problem, because it is intrinsically defective.’
      machinist, operator, machine operator, mechanic, engineer, driver, worker, hand, factory hand, artisan, craftsman, craftswoman, blue-collar worker
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  • a bad workman always blames his tools

    • proverb A person who has done something badly will seek to lay the blame on their equipment rather than admit their own lack of skill.

      • ‘Just because a bad workman always blames his tools doesn't mean blaming one's tools is a sign of being a bad workman.’
      • ‘I just cringe at the very sight of cheap painting tools mainly because the old saying that a bad workman always blames his tools is wrong!’
      • ‘To those who tell you abruptly, in passionate discussions between amateurs, that ‘you should never use a focal length shorter than a 28 mm, otherwise you'd get too much deformation’ we want to answer: c'mon guys, a bad workman always blames his tools, just look at the results obtained by Roger Hicks in Interior Shots with his 14 mm!’
      • ‘My grandfather always taught me that a bad workman always blames his tools and the poor old Holstein cow is getting bad press because the type of Holstein a breeder may have ` built’ may not suit their management system or style.’