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[wur-ker] /ˈwɜr kər/
a person or thing that works.
a laborer or employee:
steel workers.
a person engaged in a particular field, activity, or cause:
a worker in psychological research; a worker for the Republican Party.
  1. a member of a caste of sexually underdeveloped, nonreproductive bees, specialized to collect food and maintain the hive.
  2. a similar member of a specialized caste of ants, termites, or wasps.
Printing. one of a set of electrotyped plates used to print from (contrasted with molder2. ).
any of several rollers covered with card clothing that work in combination with the stripper rollers and the cylinder in the carding of fibers.
Origin of worker
1300-50; Middle English werker, worcher. See work, -er1
Related forms
nonworker, noun
subworker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for worker
  • Suddenly, a paint-splattered worker picking at a nearby wall shouts, waves his steel trowel and points.
  • Then the health worker, or even the patient, can take a picture of the stamp with a cellphone.
  • worker animals dig the burrows that the whole clan inhabits, using their prominent teeth and snouts.
  • Beekeepers would lift the lid of a hive to find only the queen and a few stragglers, the worker bees gone.
  • But with increased worker productivity came the incredible paranoia that meth, more than any other drug, is known for.
  • Always a boss and never a worker, always a liar, always a thief and never caught.
  • Visit the library and ask a librarian, not a student worker.
  • If you need help at the library, be sure to ask a librarian though instead of a run-of-the-mill library worker.
  • Even such customer-oriented salespeople were found to lose all respect from customers for having barked at a co-worker.
  • One might refer to the multi-national crews of the space shuttles and station as worker bees in an orbiting hive.
British Dictionary definitions for worker


a person or thing that works, usually at a specific job: a good worker, a research worker
an employee in an organization, as opposed to an employer or manager
a manual labourer or other employee working in a manufacturing or other industry
any other member of the working class
a sterile female member of a colony of bees, ants, or wasps that forages for food, cares for the larvae, etc
Derived Forms
workerless, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for worker

as a type of bee, 1747, agent noun from work (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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