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1. The entirety of what's available; all the related elements of something. Wow, they really offer the works at this ice cream bar. There's much more than just whipped cream and sprinkles here! I want a traditional wedding, with the cake, the dress—the works.
2. slang A very thorough or severe beating. When John refused to pay protection money to the mafia, two of their goons took him outside and gave him the works.
work (one's) arse off
rude slang To work really hard (on or at something). Primarily heard in UK. I know you thought it was just a silly New Year's resolution, but I've been working my arse off at the gym! Sally and Jim work their arses off when we hold our consumer conference each year. I don't know what I'd do without them!
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.