the works(redirected from the whole works)
1. Everything, the full range of possibilities, as in He ordered a pizza with the works, or All right, tell me, give me the works on it. This usage derives from works in the sense of "a complete set of parts for a machine or mechanism." [Colloquial; late 1800s]
2. A beating or other severe treatment. This usage is often put as give someone the works, as in They took him outside and gave him the works. [Slang; first half of 1900s]
the whole works
You say the works or the whole works to mean all the things that would normally be included in a particular situation. Our agents are watching all exits from New York City — airports, train stations, bus stations, tunnels, bridges, the works. Amazing place he's got there — squash courts, swimming pool, jacuzzi, the whole works.
the (whole) ˈworks(informal) everything that you could want, need or expect: We went to the chip shop and had the works: fish, chips and mushy peas.
n. the entire amount; everything. I’d like my hamburger with onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard—the works. She’s getting the works at the beauty shop—cut, wash, dye, and set.