work against

work against (someone or something)

1. To act, function, or perform in a contrary or adverse manner to someone or something. Your perfectionism works against you sometimes—you need to learn to move on from a project, even if you think it could forever be improved. The legislation they are proposing would actively work against the progress we've made in regulating the financial industry in recent years.
2. To work effectively toward countering or defeating someone or something. It may have worked against their opponents in the last presidential election, but their smear-campaign tactic is not producing much traction for them this time around. I heard that pepper spray works well against bears, so I always carry some with me when I go camping in the mountains.
See also: work
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

work against someone or something

1. [for someone] to struggle against someone or something. She worked hard against the passage of the law. Dave worked against Betty.
2. . [for something] to militate against someone or something. This sort of works against your plan, does it not? Everything you said works against your client.
See also: work
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

work against

1. To move or act contrary to something or someone: The new ideas work against the way we do things now.
2. To move or act in opposition or resistance to someone or something: Your meticulous attention to detail sometimes works against you.
3. To be successful at countering something or someone: The soccer team must find a strategy that works against the opponent's defense.
See also: work
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
I also call upon people to work against destruction and value life," Bishop Diloraj Canagasabay said.
Mr Bontsibokae told the over 700 Mothers' Union delegates to understand that their role was critical in church growth and therefore called on them to guard against things that may work against what the church intended to achieve.
Also, 53 percent said that antibiotics are effective against viral infections, 40 percent said they work against the common cold and 48 percent said they fight the flu.
Meanwhile, A survey conducted by Charsadda Press Club states that police failed to work against robbers, street crimes and car snatching in the area.
Which trait is most likely to work against you: if you're ugly, if you're fat, if you're short, or if you're Jewish?
16 ( ANI ): A team of researchers has designed compounds that can work against drug-resistant strains of malaria parasites.
They have worked against it in the past and I think they still work against it at this time.
What worked against Australia might not work against France, and we have to find a way which works against the French."
What worked against Australia might not work against France, and we have to go out there and find a way which works against the French." England head coach Brian Ashton looks likely to announce an unchanged team following the quarter-final triumph, with no injury problems to hinder his plans.
Hake sure you don't close out your credit card accounts, since this could work against you when applying for a mortgage.
"Second, it does work against collaboration," Packer says.
working in the Bronx, isn't just another collection of vignettes but tackles the overall struggle against violence, considering the experiences of those living with violence on the streets and those who work against it fellow attorneys, physicians, social workers and others.
Also, inflatable owls, fake snakes, and similar devices rarely work against persistent woodpeckers.
Yet, students now have an increasing array of helpful online (and often anonymous) tools to work against depression and other issues.