a. One who works at a particular occupation or activity: an office worker.
b. One who does manual or industrial labor.
2. A member of the working class.
3. A member of a colony of social insects such as ants, bees, wasps, or termites, usually a sterile or sexually immature female but in termites an individual of either sex, that performs specialized work such as building the nest, collecting and storing food, and feeding other members of the colony.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.