Definition of worker in English:


See synonyms for worker

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  • 1A person who does a specified type of work or who works in a specified way.

    ‘a farm worker’
    • ‘she's a good worker’
    • ‘Migrant farm workers are hired temporarily, usually for a harvest.’
    • ‘The Royal Mail sacked the two postal workers on the grounds that they had taken " excessive " sick leave.’
    • ‘Farmers want timely admission of an adequate number of temporary foreign farm workers.’
    • ‘Striking construction workers rallied in Lima and barricaded the Pan-American Highway, blocking the movement of passenger vehicles and trucks.’
    • ‘In 1993-94, the Klein government rolled back health care workers ' wages by 5 percent.’
    • ‘Striking shipyard workers demand the right to independent trade unions.’
    • ‘The WSWS does not propose that doctors, nurses and other health care workers not be paid.’
    • ‘There are generally no other jobs available for unemployed farm workers in a rural area.’
    • ‘Nor will next-generation industries such as biotech and chip design provide many jobs for laid-off factory workers.’
    • ‘The firm now has 30 employees at its Glasgow headquarters and employs 1000 factory workers in Europe.’
    • ‘The story follows a group of railway maintenance workers who are forced to cut corners with disastrous results.’
    • ‘Everywhere SARS has struck, healthcare workers have been its primary victims.’
    • ‘As a result of these policies, Peru now has 250,000 unemployed construction workers.’
    • ‘The RMT rail workers ' union at Waterloo has voted to oppose the war.’
    • ‘The strike was held by the public service workers ' trade union, Unison.’
    • ‘Now she works as an organiser for the PCS civil service workers ' union.’
    • ‘It has happened to steel workers, car workers, bank staff; now it's the doctors' turn.’
    • ‘Many of them were community leaders, teachers, health workers and people in the local bureaucracy.’
    • ‘Chelmsford Crown Court heard how more than 20 post office staff and pub workers were confronted by the two robbers.’
    • ‘Police kept reporters, rescue workers and human rights monitors away from the prison until the gunfire faded.’
    1. 1.1An employee, especially one who does manual or nonexecutive work.
      ‘In 1911 over three-quarters of Britain's employed population were manual workers.’
      • ‘The most admired vocations are manual workers such as cook or driver.’
      • ‘That will mean a harsh deal for manual workers who can't physically work beyond 60 or 65.’
      • ‘This was the first time the manual workers and the technical and white collar staff had acted together.’
      • ‘He left school without qualifications and was a shop assistant before becoming a manual worker for Birmingham Council.’
      • ‘Such people are not generally peasants or manual workers.’
      • ‘Stressing the current difficulty in recruiting manual workers, he said career opportunities had to be provided to change this trend.’
      • ‘Ultimately, the government backed down, allowing striking temporary workers who had been fired to return to work.’
      • ‘The second generation remained largely proletarian, although many moved into the ranks of skilled blue-collar workers.’
      • ‘Higher proportions of the workforce are white-collar managers/administrators or blue-collar skilled manual workers, with little in between.’
      • ‘Today's workers are more productive than past workers.’
      • ‘Half of the workers earn less than the median salary of $400 monthly.’
      • ‘What exactly does it mean to keep today's workers happy and working effectively?’
      • ‘So this weekend 2,400 of the company's workers face life on the dole.’
      • ‘More than half of the company's workers lost their jobs as well as their pension savings.’
      • ‘The fare hike will go into effect as the city's workers already face severe financial hardships.’
      • ‘Workers picketed the site and scuffles broke out between picketers and non-union workers.’
      • ‘Over 1,000 workers are picketing the plant under the watch of about 45 policemen.’
      • ‘She reported that the workers were out picketing without even waiting for a response.’
      • ‘After those people left, the workers from the municipal government began to dismantle the sheds.’
      employee, member of staff, working man, working woman, workman, labourer, hand, operative, operator
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    2. 1.2 informal A person who works hard.
      • ‘I got a reputation for being a worker’
      • ‘The guy is a worker, there's no doubt he's a worker.’
      • ‘He may not have great size, but he's a worker.’
      hard worker, toiler, workhorse, Stakhanovite, galley slave
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    3. 1.3workersUsed in Marxist or leftist contexts to refer to the working class.
      ‘a red flag with the inscription “workers of the world, unite!”’
      • ‘the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party’
      • ‘He told us about its working class program, workers ' rights and the world political situation.’
      • ‘In its place will come the class of productive workers, the working class, that has been up until today oppressed.’
      • ‘Therefore, the future of the urban working class and workers and peasants in rural areas will be a key issue.’
      • ‘Thus, just as Marxists once berated workers for false consciousness, the cultural left berates its chosen constituents.’
      • ‘Democrats say the White House is putting corporate interests ahead of workers and the middle class.’
      • ‘While the workers and the middle class of the great cities perished in misery, Stinnes became the owner of fabulous riches.’
      • ‘This unrest was part of a much wider crisis of morale that covered the whole urban world, workers and middle classes alike.’
  • 2A person who produces or achieves a specified thing.

    ‘a worker of miracles’
    • ‘Dowie was already regarded as little short of a miracle worker for his achievements under particularly difficult circumstances at Oldham Athletic.’
    • ‘Having said that, they may not be miracle workers, but acupuncturists have brought relief to many ailing patients.’
    • ‘Lentils are miracle workers, packed full of goodness, grains are full of fibre and great energy boosters, and we all know what beans do for you.’
    • ‘Looking at his credentials, few would probably argue if Lambie was tagged a miracle worker, but considering his tendency to go against the grain it is unsurprising that the man himself would.’
    • ‘Some friends have said that I am a miracle worker.’
  • 3(in social insects such as bees, wasps, ants, and termites) a neuter or undeveloped female that is a member of what is usually the most numerous caste and does the basic work of the colony.

    ‘Polybia occidentalis workers engaged in social biting with nest mates.’
    • ‘In autumn, the larvae emerge as adult workers and begin enlarging the colony.’
    • ‘When there is an influx of nectar into the nest, the colony deploys more workers for foraging.’
    • ‘We also tested intercolony hostility between nonmarked workers of two original colonies.’
    • ‘Drifting of honeybee workers into neighboring colonies is common and well established.’
    • ‘For a single colony, the workers collected at baits were kept alive in the laboratory.’
    • ‘Colony development and the behavior of workers in these colonies resembled colonies reared in summer.’
    • ‘Fifty or a hundred yards farther on, the worker ants form a new nest, and the colony files into place, rapidly at first and then more slowly as the last guests stumble in.’
    • ‘These samples were collected from different queenless colonies, the worker brood emerging being laid by workers.’
    • ‘The species has been shown to display nepotism as the worker ants favor the broods of the queen to whom they are most closely related.’
    • ‘All of the colonies contained at least eight workers and a queen at the start of the experiments.’
    • ‘The worker bees are the ones capable of stinging.’
    • ‘‘At first I thought it might have been a worker bee or a wasp or something, but it was about two or three times the size of a normal wasp - it was massive,’ she said.’
    • ‘By staying out in the cold, the worker slows down the parasite's metabolism, often so much that the bee dies a natural death before the fly larva can mature.’
    • ‘Often, when the queen or many workers are killed, host colonies eventually perish.’
    • ‘You can separate workers from the colony to experiment, put them back together, and so on.’
    • ‘The queen bee eats the workers ' eggs to retain her control over the colony.’
    • ‘But other worker bees in the org are not so happy with the move.’
    • ‘The honeybees return to the hive and pass the nectar onto other worker bees.’
    • ‘One teaspoon of honey is the entire life work of a worker bee.’