Idioms and Expressions - Work

Working/Playing
Craig Moe/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The following idioms and expressions use the noun / verb 'work'. Each idiom or expression has a definition and two example sentences to help your understanding of these common idiomatic expressions with 'work'.

English Idioms and Expressions

All in a day's work

Definition: nothing special, part of the routine

  • Don't worry about it. It's all in a day's work.
  • Cooking is all in a day's work.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Definition: Idiom meaning that you need to have fun in order to be a happy, healthy person

  • Go home! Remember: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
  • I'm worried about him. He hasn't yet understood that all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.

Dirty work

Definition: Necessary, but uninteresting, or difficult work

  • He did the dirty work on that project.
  • Have you got around to doing the dirty work yet?

Get down to work

Definition: Stop relaxing, focus on important task

  • Hey, let's get down to work here!
  • Sorry, I've got to get off the phone and get down to work.

Get worked up over something

Definition: become angry or annoyed about something

  • He got all worked up over the last exam.
  • Don't get worked up over the garden. I'll take care of it tomorrow.

Make short work of something

Definition: do something quickly

  • I made short work of the assignment and moved on to the next job.
  • Give it to John. He'll make short work of it.

    Work like a horse

    Definition: work a lot, work very hard

    • Janet works like a horse!
    • Why don't you ask Tom. He works like a horse.

    Work out for the best

    Definition: eventually finish well

    • Don't worry about your problems. Everything will work out for the best.
    • The divorce worked out for the best for the whole family.

      Work something off

      Definition: lose weight

      • I'm going running to work dinner off.
      • She went to the gym to work off a few pounds.

      Throw a monkey wrench in the works

      Definition: cause a disturbance in something that seems clear and understandable

      • I hate to throw a monkey wrench in the works, but don't you think we should ask Andy to help.
      • Everything was set to go when Jack threw a monkey wrench in the works!
      Format
      mla apa chicago
      Your Citation
      Beare, Kenneth. "Idioms and Expressions - Work." ThoughtCo, Mar. 29, 2017, thoughtco.com/idioms-and-expressions-work-1212337. Beare, Kenneth. (2017, March 29). Idioms and Expressions - Work. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/idioms-and-expressions-work-1212337 Beare, Kenneth. "Idioms and Expressions - Work." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/idioms-and-expressions-work-1212337 (accessed November 22, 2017).