work up

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

  1. To raise; to excite; to stir up.
    He worked up the public's passions to rage.
  2. To develop.
    I shall have worked up an appetite with all this heavy work.
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, page 185:
      "See how it's working up; we shall have thunder and lightning."
  3. (transitive, medicine) To give (a patient) a general medical examination to assess health and fitness.
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To use up (material, etc.).
  5. (obsolete, nautical) To set at an irksome or needless task.