1 effort/product of effort
ADJ. hard It's hard work trying to get him to do a few things for himself. It doesn't require skill?it's a matter of sheer hard work. | arduous, back-breaking, challenging, complicated, demanding, difficult, gruelling, intensive, labour-intensive, tiring, tough The show is the product of two years' intensive work. | rewarding | heavy They employ a couple of young men to do the heavy work. | donkey I did the donkey work (= hard work requiring little skill) but I hired a professional builder for the tricky bits. | light She's only allowed to do a little light work because of her bad arm. | easy | close I need to wear glasses for close work. | physical | delicate | dangerous | dirty Engine maintenance is dirty work. (figurative) The drugs gang used children to do their dirty work for them. | humdrum, monotonous, repetitive, tedious | fascinating, interesting | purposeful Many unemployed people welcome the chance to do purposeful work, even if unpaid. | valuable The research institute needs funds in order to carry on its valuable work. | paid, unpaid | professional | men's, women's They think that looking after children is women's work. | intellectual, mental | creative, imaginative | practical (see also fieldwork, paperwork) | investigative | undercover The scandal was revealed after months of undercover work by journalists. | leg (also legwork) Her job as a market researcher involves a lot of legwork (= walking around to collect information). | course (also coursework) | written His written work is the best in the class. | individual | group | project | collaborative, joint classroom activities involving collaborative work between children The report is the joint work of an economist and a sociologist. | remedial The poorly designed bridge needs remedial work to make it safe. | background, preliminary, preparatory | follow-up | honest He preferred to make his money from honest work rather than from gambling. | good, nice (informal), outstanding, sterling Nice work, James! I'm impressed.
In accepting the award, she mentioned the sterling work of her assistants. | careful, meticulous, painstaking | poor, shoddy, sloppy | charitable, humanitarian | community, youth | ground-breaking, innovative, pioneering He did pioneering work on microbes. | experimental | academic, commercial, educational, environmental, scientific | building, construction | your own Is this all your own work (= did you do it without help from others)?
QUANT. bit, piece It was an interesting piece of work.
VERB + WORK carry out, do, put in All the construction work was carried out in 2001. I've got lots of work to do today. She's put in a lot of work on the design. | get done, have done I think I'd better try and get some work done. We're going to have some building work done on the house. | produce Work produced on a word processor tends to look more professional. | get, have We get far too much work at this time of year. | take on, undertake I've taken on more work than I've got time to do. | create, make Big football matches make a lot of work for the police. | begin, commence, get down to, set about/to, start They began work on the project towards the end of the year. Stop talking and get down to work. We set to work on the outside of the house (= for example, painting it). | go about She went cheerfully about her work. | carry on, continue | complete, finish | halt, hold up, stop Work on the project was halted. | lose They lost the work to a competitor. | undo The new president spent the first year undoing the work of his predecessor. | oversee, supervise The assistant | set sb to She set them to work painting the fence. | require To carry out accurate market research requires a huge amount of work. | hand in We're supposed to hand in this work tomorrow.
WORK + VERB come The work comes in bursts according to the time of year. | wait That work can wait until tomorrow. | go How's the work going this morning? | involve sth What does the work involve? | begin, start | continue, go on | come to a standstill Work came to a complete standstill when rumours of redundancies started to circulate. | cost How much will the work cost?
WORK + NOUN ethic | rate Her boss told her she had to increase her work rate. | programme, schedule | surface Work surfaces should be left clear and clean.
PREP. at ~ He's been hard at work all morning. | ~ on I have to do some work on the engine before it'll be ready to drive. | ~ with She's done a lot of work with disadvantaged children.
PHRASES a backlog of work It will take a month to clear the backlog of work. | keep up the good work The hotel manager thanked the staff for their efforts so far and told them to keep up the good work. | your life's work The art collection was his life's work. | make light/short work of sth (= to do sth quickly and easily) Mike made short work of fixing the engine. | never/not a stroke of work She never does a stroke of work. | pressure of work Pressure of work forced him to cancel his holiday. | work in progress The showroom has been designed so that people can see work in progress.
ADJ. lucrative, well paid | badly paid | full-time, part-time | permanent | temporary | regular, steady He hasn't been in regular work since he left school. | casual In the college vacations he does casual work in the local hospital. | freelance | voluntary | skilled | semi-skilled | unskilled | manual | indoor, outdoor | daily, day-to-day, everyday, routine People went about their daily work despite the war. Ambulance crews alternate between emergency and routine work. | piece It's piece work, so how much you earn depends on how fast you can work. | administrative, clerical, office, secretarial | managerial | domestic | social | research | agricultural, farm | building | nice (humorous) A hundred grand for two days a week? Nice work if you can get it!
VERB + WORK have He's got a bit of freelance work at the moment. | look for He got made redundant, so now he's looking for work again. | find, get Full-time work is hard to find. | go to I go to work on the bus. | go out to Some mothers of young children choose not to go out to work. | start | finish, knock off What time do you finish work? | stop She stops work at the end of this month. | give up Just before he was sixty, he decided to give up work. | go back to, return to She has just returned to work after the birth of her child. | coordinate Sales reps meet up monthly to coordinate their work.
WORK + VERB go Work's going well at the moment. | start What time does work start in the morning? | finish
WORK + NOUN hours Employees must not make personal calls in work hours. | place (also workplace) | area, environment, room (also workroom) | station (also workstation) | roster, schedule | experience He's doing a month's unpaid work experience with an engineering firm. | permit | incentive High income tax can undermine work incentives. | practice An independent report has described some work practices in the industry as old-fashioned.
PREP. at ~ ‘Where's Diane?’ ‘She's at work.’ We had a party at work. | in (your) ~ With so much unemployment, I'm lucky to be in work. It's important to be happy in your work. | off ~ She's been off work with a bad back since July. | out of ~ He's been out of work since the factory closed. | through ~ I met him through work.
PHRASES a line of work ‘What line of work are you in?’ ‘Computing.’ | a place of work
ADJ. classic, fine, great | definitive, seminal Her book is still considered the definitive work on beetles. | influential | erudite, scholarly | ambitious | literary | dramatic | critical | autobiographical, biographical | artistic | art (also artwork) The artwork in the book is superb. | abstract, figurative, graphic | choral, orchestral, piano | collected, complete the collected works of Stephen King | early | late, mature Picasso's mature works
QUANT. series | collection, exhibition
VERB + WORK compose, produce, write Beethoven composed his greatest works towards the end of his life. | commission | perform, play | hear, read, see Her work can be seen in most of the major European galleries. | conduct, direct, edit, produce, publish, put on Over the next two years, the theatre is putting on the complete works of Brecht. | display, exhibit, show The town hall is exhibiting works by local artists.
WORK + VERB be called sth, be entitled sth a work entitled ‘Forward Pass’
PREP. in a/the ~ She's studying the theme of death in the works of Beckett. | ~ by a work by an unknown eighteenth century writer
PHRASES an exhibition of sb's work The gallery is staging a special exhibition of Monet's early works. | a work of art/fiction/literature The building is hated by some and considered a work of art by others. (humorous) They discovered that his CV was a complete work of fiction. | a work of genius Her latest novel is a work of genius. > Note at ART
4 (also works) building/repairing
ADJ. extensive, major | road (also roadworks) | maintenance, repair, restoration | demolition
VERB + WORK carry out We are planning to carry out major works on the site. | plan | announce
WORK + VERB continue, go on The works will continue until the end of July.
PREP. at the ~ A contraflow is in operation at the works near Junction 5.
5 works: factory
VERB + WORK open | close (down), shut down
WORK + VERB turn sth out The works at Bury turned out thousands of television sets a week. | open | close (down)
WORK + NOUN foreman, manager, supervisor | canteen
PREP. at the ~ the night shift at the works
1 do a job/task
ADV. hard He had been working hard all morning. | steadily | round the clock Emergency teams were working round the clock to make the homes secure. | full-time, part-time A lot of mothers choose to work part-time. | efficiently I work more efficiently on my own. | closely, collaboratively, together people who have worked closely together over a period of time | alone, independently | away We worked steadily away all morning.
VERB + WORK continue to | choose to, prefer to I prefer to work as part of a team. | motivate sb to Employees are motivated to work harder for a whole host of different reasons. | enable sb to I needed a job which would enable me to work at home. | refuse to
PREP. as He's working as a teacher at the moment. | at I've spent three hours working at this problem. | for She works for an oil company. | on We are working on plans for a new swimming pool. | with the people you work with
2 function; have a result/effect
ADV. effectively, efficiently, perfectly, properly, satisfactorily, smoothly, well Everything worked very smoothly. | independently My limbs seemed to be working independently of each other.
VERB + WORK seem to PHRASAL VERBS work out
ADV. perfectly, well | badly
PREP. for Things worked out well for Janet in the end.