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to work up
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Work \Work\ (w[^u]rk), v. t. 1. To labor or operate upon; to give exertion and effort to; to prepare for use, or to utilize, by labor. [1913 Webster] He could have told them of two or three gold mines, and a silver mine, and given the reason why they forbare to work them at that time. --Sir W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster] 2. To produce or form by labor; to bring forth by exertion or toil; to accomplish; to originate; to effect; as, to work wood or iron into a form desired, or into a utensil; to work cotton or wool into cloth. [1913 Webster] Each herb he knew, that works or good or ill. --Harte. [1913 Webster] 3. To produce by slow degrees, or as if laboriously; to bring gradually into any state by action or motion. "Sidelong he works his way." --Milton. [1913 Webster] So the pure, limpid stream, when foul with stains Of rushing torrents and descending rains, Works itself clear, and as it runs, refines, Till by degrees the floating mirror shines. --Addison. [1913 Webster] 4. To influence by acting upon; to prevail upon; to manage; to lead. "Work your royal father to his ruin." --Philips. [1913 Webster] 5. To form with a needle and thread or yarn; especially, to embroider; as, to work muslin. [1913 Webster] 6. To set in motion or action; to direct the action of; to keep at work; to govern; to manage; as, to work a machine. [1913 Webster] Knowledge in building and working ships. --Arbuthnot. [1913 Webster] Now, Marcus, thy virtue's the proof; Put forth thy utmost strength, work every nerve. --Addison. [1913 Webster] The mariners all 'gan work the ropes, Where they were wont to do. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster] 7. To cause to ferment, as liquor. [1913 Webster] To work a passage (Naut.), to pay for a passage by doing work. To work double tides (Naut.), to perform the labor of three days in two; -- a phrase which alludes to a practice of working by the night tide as well as by the day. To work in, to insert, introduce, mingle, or interweave by labor or skill. To work into, to force, urge, or insinuate into; as, to work one's self into favor or confidence. To work off, to remove gradually, as by labor, or a gradual process; as, beer works off impurities in fermenting. To work out. (a) To effect by labor and exertion. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." --Phil. ii. 12. (b) To erase; to efface. [R.] [1913 Webster] Tears of joy for your returning spilt, Work out and expiate our former guilt. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] (c) To solve, as a problem. (d) To exhaust, as a mine, by working. To work up. (a) To raise; to excite; to stir up; as, to work up the passions to rage. [1913 Webster] The sun, that rolls his chariot o'er their heads, Works up more fire and color in their cheeks. --Addison. [1913 Webster] (b) To expend in any work, as materials; as, they have worked up all the stock. (c) (Naut.) To make over or into something else, as yarns drawn from old rigging, made into spun yarn, foxes, sennit, and the like; also, to keep constantly at work upon needless matters, as a crew in order to punish them. --R. H. Dana, Jr. [1913 Webster]