Synonyms of work in English:


See US English definition of work

See UK English definition of work

See Spanish definition of trabajo


1‘he was tired after a day's work in the fields’

labour, toil, exertion, effort, slog, drudgery, the sweat of one's brow
informal grind, sweat, donkey work, spadework, elbow grease
British informal graft, fag
Australian, New Zealand informal yakka
archaic travail, moil

leisure, rest

2‘his work takes him to France, Spain, and Germany’

employment, job, day job, post, position, situation, means of earning one's living, occupation, profession, career, business, trade, line
vocation, calling
archaic employ

3‘haven't you got any work to do?’

tasks, jobs, duties, assignments, commissions, projects

4‘one of the best works of modern English literature’

composition, piece, creation, achievement, accomplishment
work of art, opus, oeuvre

5‘the attack was the work of a militant group’

handiwork, doing, act, deed, feat, performance

6works‘a lifetime spent doing good works’

deeds, acts, actions

7works‘the complete works of Shakespeare’

writings, oeuvre, canon, output

8works‘the site of a former car works’

factory, plant, manufacturing complex, mill, foundry, yard, industrial unit, business unit
workshop, shop

9works‘the works of a clock’

mechanism, machinery, workings, working parts, parts, movement, action
informal innards, insides

10the works‘for only $60 you can get the works’

everything, the full treatment
informal everything but the kitchen sink, the lot, the whole shooting match, the whole caboodle, the whole kit and caboodle, the whole shebang, the whole nine yards
British informal the full monty
North American informal the whole ball of wax


1‘staff worked late into the night to make the necessary repairs’

toil, labour, exert oneself, slave, slave away, plod away
work one's fingers to the bone, work like a dog, work like a Trojan, work day and night, keep at it, keep one's nose to the grindstone
informal slog, slog away, beaver away, plug away, peg away, put one's back into something, work one's guts out, work one's socks off, knock oneself out, sweat blood, kill oneself
British informal graft, fag
Australian, New Zealand informal bullock
British vulgar slang work one's arse off, work one's balls off
North American vulgar slang work one's ass off, work one's butt off
archaic drudge, travail, moil

rest, play

2‘Taylor has worked in education for 17 years’

be employed, have a job, earn one's living, hold down a job, do business, follow one's trade, ply one's trade

3‘many farmers had given up working the land’

cultivate, farm, till, plough

4‘Dino's car was now working perfectly’

function, go, run, operate, perform
be in working order
informal behave

5‘she showed me how to work the ice-cream machine’

operate, use, handle, control, manipulate, manoeuvre, drive, run, direct
ply, wield

6‘their desperate ploy had worked’

succeed, be successful, work out, turn out well, go as planned, have the desired result, get results
be effective, take effect, be efficacious
informal come off, pay off, do the trick, do the business
North American informal turn the trick


7‘with a dash of blusher you can work miracles’

bring about, accomplish, achieve, produce, do, perform, carry out, implement, execute, create, engender, contrive, effect

8‘the chairman was prepared to work it for Philip if he was interested’

arrange, manipulate, manoeuvre, contrive
pull strings
North American pull wires
informal fix, swing, wangle
British informal fiddle

9‘he worked the crowd into a frenzy’

stir, stir up, excite, drive, move, spur, rouse, fire, galvanize
whip up, inflame, incite, agitate

10‘work the mixture into a paste’

knead, squeeze, form, shape, fashion, mould, model
mix, stir, blend

11‘he worked the blade into the padlock’

manoeuvre, manipulate, negotiate, guide, edge

12‘Bella's mouth worked furiously for a few seconds’

twitch, quiver, twist, move spasmodically, convulse

13‘John had worked his way through the crowd’

manoeuvre, make, thread, wind, weave


    work out

    1‘the bill works out at £50’

    amount to, add up to, come to, total
    British tot up to

    2‘I'm glad my idea worked out’

    succeed, be successful, work, turn out well, go as planned, get results, be effective
    informal come off, pay off, do the trick, do the business


    3‘things didn't quite work out the way she had planned’

    end up, turn out, go, come out, develop, evolve, result
    happen, occur
    informal pan out

    4‘Bob keeps in shape by working out at the local gym’

    exercise, do exercises, train
    work someone over

    ‘it looked like someone had worked him over to get him to say what they wanted him to say’

    beat up, beat, attack, assault, knock about, knock around, maltreat, mistreat, abuse, batter, manhandle
    informal do over, bash up, rough up, beat the living daylights out of
    British informal duff up
    North American informal beat up on
    work something up

    ‘he couldn't seem to work up any enthusiasm’

    stimulate, rouse, raise, arouse, awaken, excite, build up, whet
    develop, produce
    work on someone

    ‘leave him to me—I'll work on him’

    persuade, manipulate, influence, sway, put pressure on, lean on
    coax, cajole, wheedle, soften up
    informal twist someone's arm, put the squeeze on
    work something out

    1‘work out how much you can afford to spend’

    calculate, compute, reckon up, determine

    2‘I'm still trying to work out what she meant’

    understand, comprehend, puzzle out, sort out, reason out, make sense of, think out, think through, get to the bottom of, make head or tail of, solve, find an answer to, find an solution to, unravel, untangle, decipher, decode, find the key to, piece together
    informal figure out, crack
    British informal suss out

    3‘they worked out a plan of action’

    devise, formulate, draw up, put together, develop, prepare, construct, arrange, organize, plan, think up, contrive, concoct
    hammer out, thrash out, reach an agreement on, negotiate