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to work at
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Work \Work\ (w[^u]rk), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Worked (w[^u]rkt), or Wrought (r[add]t); p. pr. & vb. n. Working.] [AS. wyrcean (imp. worthe, wrohte, p. p. geworht, gewroht); akin to OFries. werka, wirka, OS. wirkian, D. werken, G. wirken, Icel. verka, yrkja, orka, Goth. wa['u]rkjan. [root]145. See Work, n.] [1913 Webster] 1. To exert one's self for a purpose; to put forth effort for the attainment of an object; to labor; to be engaged in the performance of a task, a duty, or the like. [1913 Webster] O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work, To match thy goodness? --Shak. [1913 Webster] Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you. --Ex. v. 18. [1913 Webster] Whether we work or play, or sleep or wake, Our life doth pass. --Sir J. Davies. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, in a general sense, to operate; to act; to perform; as, a machine works well. [1913 Webster] We bend to that the working of the heart. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. Hence, figuratively, to be effective; to have effect or influence; to conduce. [1913 Webster] We know that all things work together for good to them that love God. --Rom. viii. 28. [1913 Webster] This so wrought upon the child, that afterwards he desired to be taught. --Locke. [1913 Webster] She marveled how she could ever have been wrought upon to marry him. --Hawthorne. [1913 Webster] 4. To carry on business; to be engaged or employed customarily; to perform the part of a laborer; to labor; to toil. [1913 Webster] They that work in fine flax . . . shall be confounded. --Isa. xix. 9. [1913 Webster] 5. To be in a state of severe exertion, or as if in such a state; to be tossed or agitated; to move heavily; to strain; to labor; as, a ship works in a heavy sea. [1913 Webster] Confused with working sands and rolling waves. --Addison. [1913 Webster] 6. To make one's way slowly and with difficulty; to move or penetrate laboriously; to proceed with effort; -- with a following preposition, as down, out, into, up, through, and the like; as, scheme works out by degrees; to work into the earth. [1913 Webster] Till body up to spirit work, in bounds Proportioned to each kind. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 7. To ferment, as a liquid. [1913 Webster] The working of beer when the barm is put in. --Bacon. [1913 Webster] 8. To act or operate on the stomach and bowels, as a cathartic. [1913 Webster] Purges . . . work best, that is, cause the blood so to do, . . . in warm weather or in a warm room. --Grew. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster] To work at, to be engaged in or upon; to be employed in. To work to windward (Naut.), to sail or ply against the wind; to tack to windward. --Mar. Dict. [1913 Webster]