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Work, subst. 1) employment, labour, toil, task imposed: “when body's w.'s expired,” Sonn. 27, 4. “there's more w.” Tp. I, 2, 238. V, 5. “you do their w.” Mids. II, 1, 41. All's I, 1, 24. Wint. IV, 4, 687. Wint. IV, 4, 687 John II, 93. R2 III, 1, 44. H4A II, 4, 118. H5 IV, 3, 18. H8 III, 1, 74 “(set at w.).” Troil. V, 5, 21. V, 8, 3. V, 10, 38. Rom. III, 5, 178. Caes. I, 1, 34. Cymb. I, 5, 57.
2) Passing, by imperceptible degrees, into the general idea of any thing done or to be done by voluntary activity, sometimes synonymous to deed or doing, sometimes to business: let's follow it, and after do “our w.” Tp. III, 2, 158. no man their (the fairies') “--s must eye,” Wiv. V, 5, 52. “when the w. of generation was . . . in the act,” Merch. I, 3, 83. you would be prouder of the w. (viz of bearing with patience the absence of Bassanio) III, 4, 8. “I have w. in hand that you yet know not of,” III, 4, 8 “this is not Fortune's w.” As I, 2, 54. “he that of greatest --s is finisher,” All's II, 1, 139. “to w.!” John II, 37. “who by the hand of France this day hath made much w. for tears in many an English mother,” John II, 37 “make w. upon ourselves,” John II, 37 “it is a damned and a bloody w.” IV, 3, 57. “if that it be the w. of any hand,” IV, 3, 57 IV, 3, 57 “knew you of this fair w.?” IV, 3, 57 “you look but on the outside of this w.” V, 2, 109. “toiled with --s of war,” R2 IV, 96. H4A I, 3, 48. H4A I, 3, 48 H5 I, 2, 114. III, 2, 93. III, 2, 93 IV, 2, 19. IV, 3, 97. H6A I, 3, 83. H6B I, 4, 15. H6B I, 4, 15 R3 I, 4, 158 (Ff shall we fall to w., Qq shall we to this gear). II, 1, 1. III, 2, 116. III, 7, 246 (Qq task). H8 V, 1, 18. Troil. I, 3, 18. V, 3, 48. Cor. I, 1, 56. I, 4, 10. I, 4, 10 I, 5, 18. I, 8, 9. I, 9, 1. II, 2, 49. III, 1, 261. IV, 6, 88. IV, 6, 88 IV, 6, 88 V, 1, 15. V, 3, 62. Tit. V, 2, 150. Rom. II, 6, 35 “(we will make short w.).” V, 3, 261. Caes. I, 3, 129. II, 1, 327. IV, 3, 196. V, 1, 114. Mcb. II, 3, 134. III, 1, 135. III, 6, 33. Hml. III, 2, 251. V, 2, 333 “(venom, do thy w.).” Lr. V, 3, 39. Oth. V, 2, 213. Oth. V, 2, 213 Ant. IV, 7, 2 (Caesar himself has w. == has to do, is in great straits). IV, 14, 105. V, 2, 328 (what w. is here? == what business have we here?). Cymb. V, 3, 8. Per. IV, 1, 71. to go to w. with == to proceed with respect to: “I will go darkly to w. with her,” Meas. V, 279. “I'll go another way to w. with him,” Tw. IV, 1, 36. “I went round to w.” Hml. II, 2, 139. Sometimes == agency, operation: “those hours that with gentle w. did frame the lovely gaze,” Sonn. 5, 1. “a most miraculous w. in this good king,” Mcb. IV, 3, 147.
3) Any thing made by nature or art: her (nature's) “best w. is ruined with thy rigour,” Ven. 954. H5 II, 4, 60. R3 IV, 3, 18. Tim. I, 1, 202. Hml. II, 2, 316. Ant. I, 2, 160. such sweet observance in this w. (a painting) “was had,” Lucr. 1385. Wint. V, 2, 107. Tim. I, 1, 160. V, 1, 40. V, 1, 40 Cymb. II, 4, 72. a very good piece of w. (a play) Mids. I, 2, 14. Shr. I, 1, 258. Wint. IV, 4, 21. Tim. I, 1, 19. Tim. I, 1, 19 Tim. I, 1, 19 Hml. III, 2, 52. “some stair w., some trunk w.” Wint. III, 3, 75. “graves only be men's --s,” Tim. V, 1, 225. Especially used of embroidery: Wint. IV, 4, 212. Oth. III, 3, 296. III, 4, 72. III, 4, 72 III, 4, 72 IV, 1, 156. IV, 1, 156
4) fortification: “let 'em win the w.” H8 V, 4, 61. “I will be walking on the --s,” Oth. III, 2, 3.
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