- a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price: She gave him the job of mowing the lawn.
- a post of employment; full-time or part-time position: She was seeking a job as an editor.
- anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility: It is your job to be on time.
- an affair, matter, occurrence, or state of affairs: to make the best of a bad job.
- the material, project, assignment, etc., being worked upon: The housing project was a long and costly job.
- the process or requirements, details, etc., of working: It was a tedious job.
- the execution or performance of a task: She did a good job.
- Informal. a medical procedure or operation performed to improve the appearance of a specified part of the body (used in combination): a nose job; a boob job to enlarge her breasts.
- Slang. a theft or similar criminal action: The police caught the gang that pulled that bank job.
- a public or official act or decision carried through for the sake of improper private gain.
- Slang. an example of a specific or distinctive type: That little six-cylinder job was the best car I ever owned.
- Computers. a unit of work for a computer, generally comprising an application program or group of related programs and the data, linkages, and instructions to the operating system needed for running the programs.
verb (used without object), jobbed, job·bing.
- to work at jobs or odd pieces of work; work by the piece.
- to do business as a jobber.
- to turn public business, planning, etc., improperly to private gain.
verb (used with object), jobbed, job·bing.
- to assign or give (work, a contract for work, etc.) in separate portions, as among different contractors or workers (often followed by out): He jobbed out the contract to a number of small outfits.
- to buy in large quantities, as from wholesalers or manufacturers, and sell to dealers in smaller quantities: He jobs shoes in Ohio and Indiana.
- to get rid of or dispose of: His party jobbed him when he sought a second term in office.
- to swindle or trick (someone): They jobbed him out of his property.
- to carry on (public or official business) for improper private gain.
- of or for a particular job or transaction.
- bought, sold, or handled together: He’s too big a customer to buy in less than job quantities.
- do a job on, Slang.
- to destroy, defeat, damage, or confound thoroughly: The thugs did a job on him—he’ll be in the hospital for a month.
- to deceive, persuade, or charm glibly; snow.
- on the job, alert; observant: The cops were on the job and caught them red-handed.
- slang a surgical remodelling of the breasts for cosmetic reasons
- an individual piece of work or task
- an occupation; post of employment
- an object worked on or a result produced from working
- a duty or responsibilityher job was to cook the dinner
- informal a difficult task or problemI had a job to contact him
- a state of affairsmake the best of a bad job; it’s a good job I saw you
- informal a damaging piece of workhe really did a job on that
- informal a crime, esp a robbery or burglary
- informal an article or specimenthe new car was a nice little job
- an instance of jobbery
- computing a unit of work for a computer consisting of a single complete task submitted by a user
- jobs for the boys appointments given to or created for allies or favourites
- on the job
- actively engaged in one’s employment
- British tabooengaged in sexual intercourse
- just the job exactly what was required
verb jobs, jobbing or jobbed
- (intr) to work by the piece or at casual jobs
- to make a private profit out of (a public office, etc)
- (intr usually foll by in)
- to buy and sell (goods or services) as a middlemanhe jobs in government surplus
- Britishto buy and sell stocks and shares as a stockjobberhe jobs in blue chips
- (tr often foll by out) to apportion (a contract, work, etc) among several contractors, workers, etc
- Old Testament
- a Jewish patriarch, who maintained his faith in God in spite of the afflictions sent by God to test him
- the book containing Job’s pleas to God under these afflictions, attempted explanations of them by his friends, and God’s reply to him
- any person who withstands great suffering without despairing
1660s, “to buy and sell as a broker,” from job (n.). Meaning “to cheat, betray” is from 1903. Related: Jobbed; jobbing.
1550s, in phrase jobbe of worke “piece of work” (contrasted with continuous labor), of uncertain origin, perhaps a variant of gobbe “mass, lump” (c.1400; see gob) via sense of “a cart-load.” Sense of “work done for pay” first recorded 1650s. Thieves’ slang sense of “theft, robbery, a planned crime” is from 1722. Printing sense is from 1795. Slang meaning “specimen, thing, person” is from 1927.
job. (1) A low mean lucrative busy affair. (2) Petty, piddling work; a piece of chance work. [Johnson’s Dictionary]
On the job “hard at work” is from 1882. Job lot is from obsolete sense of “cartload, lump,” which might also ultimately be from gob. Job security attested by 1954; job description by 1920; job-sharing by 1972.
Biblical masc. proper name, from Hebrew Iyyobh, which according to some scholars is literally “hated, persecuted,” from ayyabh “he was hostile to,” related to ebhah “enmity.” Others say it means “the penitent one.”
In the Old Testament, a man whose faith was severely tested by Satan, with God’s permission. Job was the most prosperous and happy of men, who faithfully praised God for God’s goodness. In order to get him to curse God, Satan destroyed all that Job owned, killed his children, and struck Job himself with vile sores from head to foot. False friends of Job’s suggested that he should abandon his beliefs (see Job’s comforters). But even in absolute misery, Job would not curse God, saying instead, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord.” As a reward for his steadfast faith, God healed Job and “gave him twice as much as he had before.”
see do a job on; hatchet man (job); lie down (on the job); on the job; put-up job; snow job; soft job.