work (someone or something)(redirected from work someone)
work (someone or something)
1. informal To manipulate or exploit someone or something to one's own advantage. I learned from a young age how to work the system to suit my needs. He's been working the boss for months in order to gain access to the financial records.
2. informal To arouse, gratify, or enchant someone, especially a group, in an artful manner meant to influence them in a particular way. As a comedian, you have to know how to work the audience, no matter what they're like. My daughter knows how cute she is, and she is now a master at working the people around her for attention.
1. slang To dress, walk, and behave in a way that shows off one's body or clothing in the best way possible. Often said as a compliment or encouragement. Work it, girl! You are looking fine in that little red dress! Damn, he looks really hot in that outfit, and he's working it on the dance floor!
2. slang To be very successful and self-confident in the pursuit of one's goals or ambitions. Often said as a compliment or encouragement. With so much to juggle these days and worry about these days, it's important to take a moment and recognize parents who rise to the task. Work it, you super moms and dads!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
work(one's way) into something
1. . to get into something tight or small gradually and with effort. He worked himself into the dark corner and hid there for a while. The mouse worked into the crack and got stuck.
2. . to get more deeply involved in something gradually. I don't quite understand my job. I'll work my way into it gradually. Fred worked into the daily routine gradually.
work(one's way) through something
1. . Lit. to work to earn money to pay the bills while one is in college, medical school, law school, etc. I worked my way through college as a waiter.
2. . Fig. to progress through something complicated. I spent hours working my way through the tax forms. I worked through the forms very slowly.
3. . Fig. to struggle through an emotional trauma. When she had finally worked through her grief, she was able to function normally again. Larry worked through the pain.
a lot of something; everything possible. (The works can be a lot of food, good treatment, bad treatment, etc. *Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) Bill: Shall we order a snack or a big meal? Jane: I'm hungry. Let's get the works. But, your honor. I shouldn't get the works. I only drove too fast!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Arrange, bring about, as in We'll try to work it so that the board meets tomorrow. [Colloquial; late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- work it
- play (someone) like a fiddle
- play (something) off as (something else)
- stack the odds in the favor of (someone or something)
- stack the odds against (someone or something)
- stack the odds in (someone's or something's) favor
- play both ends
- play each end against the other
- play each side against the other
- play off against