works, the n.
1. [late 19C+] everything, the lot.
2. [1900s–20s] the leader, the ‘boss’.
3. [1910s+] the finest example.
4. [1920s] the situation.
5. [1930s–40s] a beating; the ‘third degree’; murder.
6. [1930s–40s] (US Und.) an informer; a confession.
7. [1930s–50s] (US gay) a passive homosexual.
8. [1930s+] sexual intercourse.
9. [1950s] (US teen) a machine.
10. [1980s+] in prostitution, the full range of a prostitute’s services.
[1910s] (US) an important person.
1. [1920s–50s] to suffer, to be punished, to be killed.
2. [1920s+] (US prison) to receive a death sentence, to receive a very long sentence.
1. [1920s–40s] to reveal everything.
2. [1920s+] (also put the works on) to harm, ranging from beating up to actual murder.
3. [1920s+] to put all one’s efforts into communicating something, typically a sermon or political oration, or doing something, criticizing or selling something etc.
4. [1930s+] (US tramp) to be given a job by a social agency.
5. [1920s+] (also put the works into) to make sexual advances towards.
6. [1930s+] to engage in sexual intercourse.
7. [1950s] to make a thorough medical inspection.
[1940s] to spoil someone’s chances.
1. [1900s] (US Und.) to beat up.
2. [1920s] (US) to direct one’s energies towards, e.g. in order to deceive or seduce.