work·ing / ˈwərking/ • adj. 1. having paid employment: the size of the working population. ∎ engaged in manual labor: the vote is no longer sufficient protection for the working man. ∎ relating to, suitable for, or for the purpose of work: improvements in living and working conditions. ∎ (of a meal) during which business is discussed: Meredith was at a working lunch in Rose's office. ∎ (of an animal) used in farming, hunting, or for guard duties; not kept as a pet or for show. ∎ (of something possessed) sufficient to work with: they have a working knowledge of contract law. ∎ (of a theory, definition, or title) used as the basis for work or argument and likely to be developed, adapted, or improved later: the working hypothesis is tested and refined through discussion. 2. functioning or able to function: the mill still has a working waterwheel. ∎ (of parts of a machine) moving and causing a machine to operate: the working parts of a digital watch. ∎ (of the face or features) moving convulsively: she mumbled, blood spilling from her working lips. • n. 1. the action of doing work. ∎ the action of extracting minerals from a mine. ∎ (usu. workings) a mine or a part of a mine from which minerals are being extracted. 2. (workings) the way in which a machine, organization, or system operates: we will be less secretive about the workings of government.