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[v. out-wurk; n. out-wurk] /v. ˌaʊtˈwɜrk; n. ˈaʊtˌwɜrk/
verb (used with object), outworked or outwrought, outworking.
to work harder, better, or faster than.
to work out or carry on to a conclusion; finish:
a problem to be outworked in after generations.
Archaic. to outdo in workmanship.
a minor defense built or established outside the principal fortification limits.
Origin of outwork
1200-50; Middle English: to complete; see out-, work
Related forms
outworker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for outwork
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At the foot he paused, for upon the wall of the outwork he perceived some dark object, which he could not clearly make out.

    Lord Montagu's Page G. P. R. James
  • Good fame is an outwork that defends them all and renders them all valuable.

    Pearls of Thought Maturin M. Ballou
  • He can outwork an Englishman, and starve him out of the country—no one can deny that.

    An Australian in China George Ernest Morrison
  • It took a fortnight's hard work before the outwork was completed.

    Won by the Sword G.A. Henty
  • We have arrived at last at the outwork of the whole matter in its bearings upon life and human duty.

    Short Studies on Great Subjects James Anthony Froude
  • Ceremony is necessary as the outwork and 20 defence of manners.

  • The outwork on the slope beneath her was a formless shadow astir with smaller shadows equally formless.

    Fort Amity Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Cromwell said that there was no man in England could outwork his King.

    The Fifth Queen Ford Madox Ford
  • Two of them, with twenty men, remained in the outwork beyond the drawbridge.

British Dictionary definitions for outwork


noun (ˈaʊtˌwɜːk)
(often pl) defences which lie outside main defensive works
work performed away from the factory, office, etc, by which it has been commissioned
verb (transitive) (ˌaʊtˈwɜːk) -works, -working, -worked, -wrought
to work better, harder, etc, than
to work out to completion
Derived Forms
outworker, noun
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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