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  1. plural of work in its countable senses


works (plural works)

  1. A factory or factories, or similar collection(s) of buildings.
    The steel works almost fills the valley.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XXII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071:
      In the autumn there was a row at some cement works about the unskilled labour men. A union had just been started for them and all but a few joined. One of these blacklegs was laid for by a picket and knocked out of time.


works pl (plural only)

  1. A mechanism or machine; the means by which something happens.
    A stray wrench can really gum up the works.
  2. (with "the") Everything or everything that is available or possible; especially, all available toppings on food.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:everything
    I'll have a Behemoth Burger with the works.
    • 1974, Brian Eno (lyrics and music), “Dead Finks Don't Talk”, in Here Come the Warm Jets:
      My my they wanted the works, can you this and that / I never got a letter back
  3. (with "the") Drastic treatment; abuse; the axe (dismissal).
  4. (slang) A drug addict's equipment: syringe, needle, etc.

Derived terms[edit]




  1. Third-person singular simple present indicative form of work

See also[edit]