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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mistaking the time, he became a worker for a separate peace with Germany.

    Revisiting the Earth James Langdon Hill
  • He was the blacksmith god, the god of fire, and a worker in metals.

  • The line is drawn away from the worker, that is, contrary to the way one would draw a line with a lead pencil.

  • Is not the American worker wise enough to profit by their example?

    The American Empire Scott Nearing
  • Again, sometimes one worker is naturally slower than another; and although his work is good, he can reach 100 per cent.

    A Rational Wages System Henry Atkinson
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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