work into (something)

(redirected from worked into)

work into (something)

1. To insert, introduce, or implement someone or something into something else, especially when doing so does not come naturally or easily. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "work" and "into." The director even worked a clever reference to Casablanca into the film toward the end. You can try working a clause like that into the contract, but I bet their lawyers will have an issue with it. It wasn't in the script, but I bet we could work your character into this scene.
2. To cause some substance to absorbed or mixed into something else by rubbing, mixing, or massaging vigorously. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "work" and "into." He worked the ointment into my aching shoulder. You'll have to work in the moisturizer for a good while before the leather starts to soften up completely. Start working the egg and milk into the flour to form the dough.
3. To cause something to change into another state by rubbing, mixing, or massaging vigorously continuously and at length. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "work" and "into." To create the meringue, use your whisk to work the egg whites and sugar into a thick foam until small peaks are able to stand up on the surface of the mixture. Now, make sure you work the soap into a lather all over your hands and between your fingers.
4. To instill a particular mental state in someone by provoking or agitating them. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "work" and "into." I was worked into a state of blind panic when my kids didn't answer my phone calls. All his pestering comments and questions worked me into a really bad mood by the end of the day.
See also: work
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


 (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.


 (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.

work someone or something into something

 and work someone or something in 
1. to manage to fit someone or something into something physically. The magician worked the lady into the tiny cabinet from which she was to disappear. The magician opened the little box and worked in the lady and two small dogs.
2. . to fit someone or something into a sequence or series. I don't have an appointment open this afternoon, but I'll see if I can work you into the sequence. I can't work in all of you.
See also: work

work something into something

 and work something in
to press, mix, or force a substance into something. You should work the butter into the dough carefully. Work in the butter carefully.
See also: work
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

work into

1. To insert or introduce someone or something into something by repeated, continuous, or applied effort: The thief worked the pick into the lock. The chef slowly worked the flour into the batter. The speaker worked a mention of her latest book into her speech.
2. To make time available for something or someone in something, such as a busy schedule: The student worked a few field trips into the semester's calendar.
3. To manipulate something into some particular condition through repeated, continuous, or applied effort: I rubbed my hands together and worked the soap into a lather.
4. To excite or provoke someone or something into some mental state: Their constant shouting slowly worked me into a fuming rage.
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 classic literature ?
I was able practically to show this fact, by covering the edges of the hexagonal walls of a single cell, or the extreme margin of the circumferential rim of a growing comb, with an extremely thin layer of melted vermilion wax; and I invariably found that the colour was most delicately diffused by the bees--as delicately as a painter could have done with his brush--by atoms of the coloured wax having been taken from the spot on which it had been placed, and worked into the growing edges of the cells all round.