work out

See also: workout

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

work out (third-person singular simple present works out, present participle working out, simple past and past participle worked out)

  1. (transitive, with object after out) To calculate.
    Can you work out 250 × 12 in your head for me?
    Can you work out how to get to the university by car?
  2. (transitive) To make sense of.
    Synonym: figure out
    I can't work these instructions out.
  3. (transitive) To smooth or perfect.
    This is a beta version; we're still working out the kinks.
  4. (intransitive) To conclude with the correct solution.
    These figures just don't work out.
  5. (intransitive) To succeed; to result in a satisfactory situation.
    Are you still seeing John? – No, it didn't work out.
    • 1962 August, G. Freeman Allen, “Traffic control on the Great Northern Line”, in Modern Railways, page 131:
      As everyone knows, almost all booked passenger and freight trains are diagrammed into rosters for engines and men, and in an operating Utopia everything would work out daily according to plan.
  6. (intransitive) To exercise, especially by lifting weights.
    John won't be here for a while because he is working out.
    Wow, you're looking good! Do you work out?
  7. (intransitive, US) To earn a wage working away from one's farm.
    • 1918, Willa Cather, My Ántonia, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Chapter 5, p. 38,[1]
      The two Russians made good farmhands, and in summer they worked out together.
    • 1939, John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, New York: Viking, 1958, Chapter 13, p. 201,[2]
      [] with them good wages, maybe a fella can get hisself a little piece a land an’ work out for extra cash.
  8. (transitive) To bring about or cause to happen by work or effort.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure[3]:
      "Ah! if man would but see that hope is from within and not from without - that he himself must work out his own salvation!"
  9. (transitive, intransitive) Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see work,‎ out.
    Using some tweezers, he worked the bee sting out of his hand.
    He works out of a small office shared with three others.

QuotationsEdit

  • 1971, Carol King, “So Far Away”, Tapestry, Ode Records
    If I could only work this life out my way / I’d rather spend it bein' close to you.
  • 2009, Reif Larsen, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, Penguin Books, p.41:
    "I have some questions I need to work out. Big questions."

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • work out at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • work out in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

AnagramsEdit