Work vs Progress - What's the difference? (2023)

work | progress | Related terms |

Work is a related term of progress.

In lang=en terms the difference between work and progress

is that work is to behave in a certain way when handled; while progress is to move (something) forward; to advance, to expedite.

As nouns the difference between work and progress

is that work is employment while progress is movement or advancement through a series of events, or points in time; development through time.

As verbs the difference between work and progress

is that work is to do a specific task by employing physical or mental powers while progress is to move, go, or proceed forward; to advance.

Etymology 1

From (etyl) (m), (m), from (etyl) worc, weorc, . English cognates include bulwark, energy, erg, georgic, liturgy, metallurgy, organ, surgeon, wright.


  • Employment.
  • #Labour, occupation, job.
  • #:
  • #*(William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • #*:Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand / That you yet know not of.
  • #*Bible, 2 (w) xxxi. 21
  • #*:In every work that he beganhe did it with all his heart, and prospered.
  • #*, chapter=15, title= The Mirror and the Lamp, passage=Edward Churchill still attended to his work in a hopeless mechanical manner like a sleep-walker who walks safely on a well-known round. But his Roman collar galled him, his cossack stifled him, his biretta was as uncomfortable as a merry-andrew's cap and bells.}}
  • #The place where one is employed.
  • #:
  • Effort.
  • #Effort expended on a particular task.
  • #:
  • ##Sustained human effort to overcome obstacles and achieve a result.
  • ##:
  • #(lb) A measure of energy expended in moving an object; most commonly, force times distance. No work is done if the object does not move.
  • #:
  • #*{{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=July-August, author= Lee S. Langston, magazine=(American Scientist), title= The Adaptable Gas Turbine, passage=Turbines have been around for a long time—windmills and water wheels are early examples. The name comes from the Latin turbo , meaning "vortex", and thus the defining property of a turbine is that a fluid or gas turns the blades of a rotor, which is attached to a shaft that can perform useful work .}}
  • #(lb) A nonthermal First Law energy in transit between one form or repository and another. Also, a means of accomplishing such transit. See
  • Sustained effort to achieve a goal or result, especially overcoming obstacles.
  • :
  • *
  • *:The Bat—they called him the Bat. Like a bat he chose the night hours for his work of rapine; like a bat he struck and vanished, pouncingly, noiselessly; like a bat he never showed himself to the face of the day.
  • (lb) Product; the result of effort.
  • # The result of a particular manner of production.
  • #:
  • # Something produced using the specified material or tool.
  • #:
  • #(lb) A literary, artistic, or intellectual production.
  • #:
  • #:
  • #*(William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • #*:to leave no rubs or blotches in the work
  • #*(John Milton) (1608-1674)
  • #*:The work some praise, / And some the architect.
  • #*
  • #*:“[…] We are engaged in a great work , a treatise on our river fortifications, perhaps? But since when did army officers afford the luxury of amanuenses in this simple republic?”
  • #(lb) A fortification.
  • #:
  • The staging of events to appear as real.
  • (lb) Ore before it is dressed.
  • :(Raymond)
  • Synonyms

    * (employment) See also* (productive activity) See also

    Derived terms

    * artwork* at work* body of work* bodywork* breastwork* bridgework* busy work* casework* clockwork* derivative work* dirty work* dreamwork* earthwork* field work, fieldwork* finger work* firework* fretwork* groundwork* guesswork* hard work* handiwork* homework* housework* ironwork* leg work, legwork* lifework* masterwork* needlework* openwork* overwork* paintwork* paperwork* patchwork* piece of work* piecework* public works* reference work* road work, roadwork* schoolwork* shift work, shiftwork* spadework* teamwork* waterworks* waxwork* wickerwork* woodwork* work ethic* work of art* worklist* workly* workout* workplace* workroom* workshop* workstation* workstead* workup

    See also

    * -ing


    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) .


  • To do a specific task by employing physical or mental powers.
  • # Followed by in'' (or ''at , etc.) Said of one's workplace (building), or one's department, or one's trade (sphere of business).
  • I work''' in a national park; she '''works''' in the human resources department; he mostly '''works in logging, but sometimes works in carpentry
  • # Followed by as . Said of one's job title
  • #* , chapter=17, title= The Mirror and the Lamp, passage=This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything.}}
  • I work as a cleaner.
  • # Followed by for . Said of a company or individual who employs.
  • she works''' for Microsoft; he '''works for the president
  • # Followed by with . General use, said of either fellow employees or instruments or clients.
  • I work''' closely with my Canadian counterparts; you '''work''' with computers; she '''works with the homeless people from the suburbs
  • To effect by gradual degrees.
    he worked''' his way through the crowd; the dye '''worked''' its way through; using some tweezers, she '''worked the bee sting out of her hand
  • * Addison
    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.
  • To embroider with thread.
  • To set into action.
  • To cause to ferment.
  • To ferment.
  • * Francis Bacon
    the working of beer when the barm is put in
  • To exhaust, by working.
  • To shape, form, or improve a material.
  • To operate in a certain place, area, or speciality.
  • To operate in or through; as, to work the phones.
  • To provoke or excite; to influence.
  • To use or manipulate to one’s advantage.
  • To cause to happen or to occur as a consequence.
  • To cause to work.
  • To function correctly; to act as intended; to achieve the goal designed for.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-21, author=(Oliver Burkeman), volume=189, issue=2, page=48, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly), title= The tao of tech, passage=The dirty secret of the internet is that all this distraction and interruption is immensely profitable. Web companies like to boast about
  • (figuratively) To influence.
  • To effect by gradual degrees; as, to work into the earth.
  • To move in an agitated manner.
    A ship works in a heavy sea.
  • * Addison
    confused with working sands and rolling waves
  • To behave in a certain way when handled;
  • (transitive, with two objects, poetic) To cause (someone) to feel (something).
  • * {{quote-book, passage=So sad it seemed, and its cheek-bones gleamed, and its fingers flicked the shore; / And it lapped and lay in a weary way, and its hands met to implore; / That I gently said: “Poor, restless dead, I would never work you woe; / Though the wrong you rue you can ne’er undo, I forgave you long ago.”, author=Robert W. Service, title=(Ballads of a Cheechako), chapter=(The Ballad of One-Eyed Mike), year=1909}}
  • (obsolete) To hurt; to ache.
  • * 1485 , Sir (Thomas Malory), ''(w, Le Morte d'Arthur), Book XXI:
    ‘I wolde hit were so,’ seyde the Kynge, ‘but I may nat stonde, my hede worchys so—’
  • Derived terms

    * work at* work off* work on* work out* work over* work up* rework* worker* working* work it* work like a beaver* work like a charm* work like a dog* work like a horse* work like a Trojan* work the crowd* work the room* work to rule* work wonders

    Alternative forms

    * (archaic)

    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) .


  • Movement or advancement through a series of events, or points in time; development through time.
    Testing for the new antidote is currently in progress .
  • Specifically, advancement to a higher or more developed state; development, growth.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2012-01, author=Stephen Ledoux, title=Behaviorism at 100, volume=100, issue=1, page=60, magazine=citation, passage=Becoming more aware of the progress that scientists have made on behavioral fronts can reduce the risk that other natural scientists will resort to mystical agential accounts when they exceed the limits of their own disciplinary training.}}
    Science has made extraordinary progress in the last fifty years.
  • An official journey made by a monarch or other high personage; a state journey, a circuit.
  • * 2011 , Thomas Penn, Winter King , Penguin 2012, p. 124:
    With the king about to go on progress , the trials and executions were deliberately timed.
  • * 1887 , (Thomas Hardy), The Woodlanders :
    Now Tim began to be struck with these loitering progresses along the garden boundaries in the gloaming, and wondered what they boded.
  • Movement onwards or forwards or towards a specific objective or direction; advance.
    The thick branches overhanging the path made progress difficult.
  • Usage notes

    * To make progress'' is often used instead of the verb ''progress''. This allows complex modification of ''progress in ways that can not be well approximated by adverbs modifying the verb. See

    Etymology 2

    From the noun. Lapsed into disuse in the 17th century, except in the US. Considered an Americanism on reintroduction to use in the UK.



  • to move, go, or proceed forward; to advance.
    They progress through the museum.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011, date=October 1, author=Tom Fordyce, title=Rugby World Cup 2011: England 16-12 Scotland, work=BBC Sportcitation, page=, passage=Scotland needed a victory by eight points to have a realistic chance of progressing to the knock-out stages, and for long periods of a ferocious contest looked as if they might pull it off.}}
  • to improve; to become better or more complete.
    Societies progress unevenly.
  • To move (something) forward; to advance, to expedite.
  • * 2011 , Thomas Penn, Winter King , Penguin 2012, p. 266:
    Or […] they came to progress matters in which Dudley had taken a hand, and left defrauded or bound over to the king.
  • Antonyms

    * congress* regress* retrogress

    Related terms

    * congress* ingress* egress* regress* grade* progressive* progressivism* progressivist* progression

    External links

    **English heteronyms----

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