Definition of job noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Oxford3000 Academic


; dʒɑːb

paid work

1 work for which you receive regular paymentHe's trying to get a job.She took a job as a waitress.His brother's just lost his job.a summer/holiday/Saturday/vacation joba temporary/permanent jobI'm thinking of applying for a new job.The takeover of the company is bound to mean more job losses.Many women are in part-time jobs.Did they offer you the job?He certainly knows his job(= is very good at his job).I'm only doing my job(= I'm doing what I am paid to do).He's been out of a job(= unemployed) for six months now.She's never had a steady job(= a job that is not going to end suddenly).


2 a particular task or piece of work that you have to doI've got various jobs around the house to do.Sorting these papers out is going to be a long job.The builder has a couple of jobs on at the moment. see also blow job, nose job


3 [usually singular] (rather informal) a responsibility or dutyIt's not my job to lock up!


4 (informal) a crime, especially stealinga bank jobHe got six months for that last job he inside job(= done by somebody in the organization where the crime happens)


5 (informal) a particular kind of thingIt's real wood—not one of those plastic jobs.


6 an item of work which is done by a computer as a single unitThe job can be processed overnight.

do the job

(informal) to be effective or successful in doing what you wantThis extra strong glue should do the job.

do a good, bad, etc. job (on something)


make a good, bad, etc. job of something

to do something well, badly, etc
They did a very professional job.You've certainly made an excellent job of the kitchen (= for example, painting it).We haven't done a very good job on the publicity for the show.

give somebody/something up as a bad job

(informal) to decide to stop trying to help somebody or to do something because there is no hope of success

good job!

(especially North American English, informal) used to tell somebody that they have done well at something

a good job

(informal) used to say that you are pleased about a situation or that somebody is lucky that something happenedIt's a good job you were there to help.

have a (hard/difficult) job doing/to do something

to have difficulty doing something
You'll have a job convincing them that you're right.He had a hard job to make himself heard.

a job of work

(British English, old-fashioned or formal) work that you are paid to do or that must be doneThere was a job of work waiting for him that he was not looking forward to.

jobs for the boys

(British English, informal, disapproving) people use the expression jobs for the boys when they are criticizing the fact that somebody in power has given work to friends or relatives

just the job

(British English) (also just the ticket North American English, British English) (informal, approving) exactly what is needed in a particular situationThat cup of tea was just the job.

more than your job's worth (to do something)

(British English, informal) not worth doing because it is against the rules or because it might cause you to lose your jobIt's more than my job's worth to let you in without a ticket. see also jobsworth

on the job

1 while doing a particular jobNo sleeping on the job!on-the-job training2 (British English, slang) having sex
more at make the best of a bad job at best n., a devil of a job/time at devil, walk off the job at walk v.
Usage noteUsage note: UnemploymentLosing your joblose your job(British English) become/be made redundantbe offered/take voluntary redundancy/early retirementface/be threatened with dismissal/(British English) the sack/(British English) compulsory redundancydismiss/fire/(especially British English) sack an employee/a worker/a managerlay off staff/workers/employees(AustralE, NZE, SAfrE) retrench workerscut/reduce/downsize/slash the workforce(British English) make staff/workers/employees redundantBeing unemployedbe unemployed/out of work/out of a jobseek/look for work/employmentbe on/collect/draw/get/receive (both British English) unemployment benefit/jobseeker's allowancebe/go/live/sign (British English, informal) on the doleclaim/draw/get (British English, informal) the dolebe on/qualify for (North American English) unemployment (compensation)be/go/live/depend (North American English) on welfarecollect/receive (North American English) welfarecombat/tackle/cut/reduce unemploymentUsage noteUsage note: taskduties mission job choreThese are all words for a piece of work that somebody has to do.task a piece of work that somebody has to do, especially a difficult or unpleasant one:Our first task will be to set up a communications system.duties tasks that are part of your job:Your duties will include setting up a new computer system.mission an important official job that a person or group of people is given to do, especially when they are sent to another country:They undertook a fact-finding mission in the region.job a piece of work that somebody has to do:I've got various jobs around the house to do.task or job?A task may be more difficult than a job and require you to think carefully about how you are going to do it. A job may be something small that is one of several jobs that you have to do, especially in the home; or a job can be something that takes a long time and is boring and/or needs a lot of patience.chore a task that you have to do regularly, especially one that you do in the home and find unpleasant or boring:household choresthe task/mission/job/chore of (doing) something(a) daily/day-to-day task/duties/job/chore(a) routine task/duties/mission/job/chore(a/an) easy/difficult task/mission/job(a) household/domestic task/duties/job/choreto do a task/a job/the choresto finish a task/a mission/a job/the choresto give somebody a task/their duties/a mission/a job/a choreUsage noteUsage note: jobposition post vacancy appointmentThese are all words for a position doing work for which you receive regular payment.job a position doing work for which you receive regular payment:He's trying to get a job in a bank.position (rather formal) a job:a senior position in a large corporationjob or position?Position usually refers to a particular job within an organization, especially at a high level, and is not usually used about jobs generally. It is also often used in job applications, descriptions and a job, especially an important one in a large organization:a key post in the new governmentvacancy a job that is available for somebody to do:We have several vacancies for casual workers.appointment (rather formal, especially British English) a job or position of responsibility:This is a permanent appointment, requiring commitment and hard work.a permanent/temporary job/position/post/vacancy/appointmenta full-time/part-time job/position/post/vacancy/appointmentto have/have got a(n) job/position/post/vacancy/appointmentto apply for/fill a job/position/post/vacancyto resign from/leave/quit a job/position/postUsage noteUsage note: JobsGetting a joblook for worklook for/apply for/go for a jobget/pick up/complete/fill out/(British English) fill in an application (form)send/email your (British English) CV/(North American English) résumé/application/application form/covering letterbe called for/have/attend an interviewoffer somebody a job/work/employment/promotionfind/get/land a jobemploy/(especially North American English) hire/recruit/(especially British English) take on staff/workers/traineesrecruit/appoint a managerDoing a jobarrive at/get to/leave work/the office/the factorystart/finish work/your shiftdo/put in/work overtimehave/gain/get/lack/need experience/qualificationsdo/get/have/receive traininglearn/pick up/improve/develop (your) skillscope with/manage/share/spread the workloadimprove your/achieve a better work-life balancehave (no) job satisfaction/job securityBuilding a careerhave a job/work/a career/a vocationfind/follow/pursue/(especially North American English) live (out) your vocationenter/go into/join a professionchoose/embark on/start/begin/pursue a careerchange jobs/profession/careerbe/(both especially British English) work/go freelancedo/take on temp work/freelance workdo/be engaged in/be involved in voluntary workLeaving your jobleave/(especially North American English) quit/resign from your jobgive up work/your job/your careerhand in your notice/resignationplan to/be due to retire in June/next year, etc.take early retirement