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From home +‎ work.



homework (usually uncountable, plural homeworks)

  1. Exercises assigned by a teacher to a student which review concepts studied in class.
    You must do your homework before you can watch television.
    • 2013 July 1, Peter Wilby, “Finland's education ambassador spreads the word”, in The Guardian[1], archived from the original on 2022-10-15:
      Even 15-year-olds do no more than 30 minutes' homework a night.
    • 2023 January 12, Kevin Roose, “Don't Ban ChatGPT in Schools. Teach With It.”, in The New York Times[2], archived from the original on 2023-01-17:
      And I'm sympathetic to teachers who feel that they have enough to worry about, without adding A.I.-generated homework to the mix.
    1. (by extension) Something which one is encouraged to learn or study on one's own.
      The speaker had certainly done his homework before delivering the lecture.
      • 2012 April 10, John Hudson, “North Korea Has a Clumsy Way of Soothing Concerns About Its Rocket Launch”, in The Atlantic[3], archived from the original on 2022-01-22:
        Since the whole world is watching this launch, they probably should've done some homework on their talking points.
      • 2017 May 9, “Mindful sex is better sex, says B.C. researcher promoting new workbook”, in CBC News[4], archived from the original on 2022-11-22:
        Four years after her first sexual health book came out, Dr. Lori Brotto is giving her readers a little bit of homework for the bedroom.
      • 2022 July 18, Donald Mcrae, quoting Michael Yormark, “Roc Nation's Michael Yormark on Romelu Lukaku: 'You have to play to his strengths... I don't think that happened'”, in The Guardian[5], archived from the original on 2022-12-26:
        I didn't even know who he was until I did my homework and realised he was a premier footballer for Bayern.
      • 2023 August 7, Suzanne Wrack, “England beat Nigeria on penalties to reach Women’s World Cup quarter-finals”, in The Guardian[6]:
        Nigeria had done their homework and were well organised. Halimatu Ayinde was exceptional in her marking of James, who had scored twice and provided three assists as she ran the show against China.
  2. (literally, now rare) Any work that is done at home; housework.
    • 1989, Eileen Boris, Cynthia R. Daniels, Homework: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Paid Labor at Home, University of Illinois Press, →ISBN, page 241:
      Hatch perceived homework to be one tool—along with various workfare schemes and private sector training programs—that would take women off welfare and make poor women "independent."
  3. (slang, euphemistic) Sexual intercourse.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:sexual activity
    • 1933, James T. Farrell, Gas-House McGinty, page 186:
      My wife and I want a kid, and we do plenty of homework, but goddamn it, Dutch, I just can't connect.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (exercises assigned by a teacher) The term homework generally implies that the work is mandatory and worth marks; exercises that are optional are usually referred to as practice problems, review problems, extra practice, exercises, etc.
  • (exercises assigned by a teacher) Work of a larger scale than homework (which involves a series of relatively simple exercises) is usually referred to as an assignment or project.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]