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From work +‎ basket.


workbasket (plural workbaskets)

  1. A basket used to hold materials for needlework, etc.
    • 1771, Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, London: Harrison & Co., 1785, Volume 1, p. 42,[1]
      [] I missed three quarters of blond-lace, and a remnant of muslin, and my silver-thimble; which was the gift of true love. They were all in my work-basket, that I left upon the table in the sarvants-hall when mistresses bell rung []
    • 1868, Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1869, Volume 1, Chapter 1, p. 21,[2]
      They talked over the new plan while old Hannah cleared the table; then out came the four little work-baskets, and the needles flew as the girls made sheets for Aunt March.
    • 1932, Graham Greene, Stamboul Train, Vintage, 2004, Chapter 1,
      ‘My husband’s so modern,’ she said with fear and pride. Then her pride went out, and with her hands plunged in her workbasket, among the buttons and the balls of wool, she said, ‘He may not want to come back for me.’