to work the system

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - work the system

"to work the system"

to do or get what you want by using, manipulating, or exploiting the rules to your advantage


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - work the system

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: I hear that the company is going to break into the American market.

Colleague 2:  That could be difficult given that the regulations and taxation can vary greatly between states.

Colleague 1:  I agree. Some states don't charge sales tax and others have varieties of exemptions.

Colleague 2:  Sounds like if we are smart, we can work the system to leverage those variations to our advantage.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - work the system

Two teachers are talking ...

Teacher 1:  Now that we are in the third trimester of the new three-semester school system, how is it going?

Teacher 2:  It seems to be working well but I have a couple of students who worked really hard in the first two semesters and received grades in the ninety percent range. This gives them a total of over one hundred and eighty. Divide that by the three semesters and the students have already passed the year.

Teacher 1:  That's great, right?

Teacher 2:  Not really. Now that the students have passed the entire year, they are doing no homework or assignments because they know they have already passed the year.

Teacher 1:  That is frustrating for a teacher but amazing that the students know how to work the system so well.

to work the system - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   279   click for frequency by country

to work the system - Gerund Form:

Working the system to his advantage, he was able to collect extra benefits from the state government.

to work the system - Examples:

1)  Frequent jet-setters know how to work the system for the best nightly rates, free upgrades, and extra amenities to make their ...

2)  Do they stay and work the system, and enjoy the fruits of their pragmatism?

3)  For some, this means steadiness and experience; to work the system, you need to know it inside and out.

4)  ... misuse codeine often have "predetermined agendas", know how to "work the system" and are not willing to accept advice offered in community pharmacy.

5)  ... more high draft choices after this season. This is how great organizations work the system to remain on top.

6)  I didn't just work hard, I had to work the system. I had to scheme a little. I had to overcome.

7)  ... a taxation system that gives ample opportunities for high income-earners and corporations to work the system in a way that isn't possible for the overwhelming majority of wage and salary ...

8)  ... reveal a man who has used his wealth to become an insider and work the system to his advantage.

9)  Nobody knows how to work the system better than you. You're sharp and cunning, ...

10)  ... entire "industry" has developed in our country whose purpose is to work the system and get as much as possible.

11)  ... he's a man of integrity and professionalism who would never attempt to work the system.

12)  For those with an idea of how to work the system, Nkandla remains a cash cow that keeps depleting the public purse.

13)  I remember phoning Michelle and she knew how to work the system so people got assistance for heating.

14)  Nope, they're just individuals who happen to be lucky enough to work the system to their favour.

15)  He is smart enough to have figured out how to work the system. He knows how many credits he needs to pass and how he can ...

16)  Yet there's a way to work the system and it's totally legal.

17)  Then came the professional tenants. Renters who know how to work the system and take advantage of the law in order to live rent free, ...

18)  ... some of those who had hoped to be awarded the project began to work the system hoping to overturn the process.

19)  ... who are using food banks are not scroungers who are cynically trying to work the system.

20)  Because of that improbable belief they'll work the system to find out every iota of information they can and play people against one another.