plural noun
earn·​ings | \ ˈər-niŋz How to pronounce earnings (audio) \

Definition of earnings

1 : something (such as wages) earned
2 : the balance of revenue after deduction of costs and expenses

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Examples of earnings in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Tumbling coal prices in recent years have dinged Glencore’s earnings, but the new commodities are becoming a primary earnings driver for the business. Paul Page, WSJ, "Today’s Top Supply Chain and Logistics News From WSJ," 14 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'earnings.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of earnings

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for earnings

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for earnings

The first known use of earnings was in 1594

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More Definitions for earnings


plural noun

Financial Definition of earnings

What It Is

Earnings are the corporate profits of a company over a specific time period after taxes and other expenses have been paid.

How It Works

The net (after-tax) earnings of a company are calculated by deducting such factors as operating expenses, cost of sales, taxes, and the like. Company earnings figures are usually released on a quarterly basis, but may also refer to annual earnings.

Earnings are, in many cases, the most important factor determining stock prices for a company. For example, company ABC releases information that earnings for the third quarter (Q3) have risen from $10,000,000 to $20,000,000. At the same time, company XYZ releases figures showing a drop in earnings for the same period from $900,000 to $750,000.

Why It Matters

Earnings are probably the single most important indicator of a company's financial strength and growth potential. Earnings figures are used by investment analysts to provide estimates of a company's growth potential and offer target price estimates for investors interested in purchasing shares. Many new companies may report low, or even negative, earnings whilst attempting to find market potential for a particular good or service, and yet receive positive estimates from investment analysts for the simple reason that investors believe the company will grow in the near future.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of earnings

: money received as wages or gained as profit


noun plural
earn·​ings | \ ˈər-niŋz How to pronounce earnings (audio) \

Kids Definition of earnings

: money received as wages or gained as profit

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noun plural

Legal Definition of earnings

1 : something (as wages or dividends) earned as compensation for labor or the use of capital
2 : the balance of revenue for a specified period that remains after deducting related costs and expenses incurred — compare profit

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More from Merriam-Webster on earnings

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for earnings

Spanish Central: Translation of earnings

Nglish: Translation of earnings for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of earnings for Arabic Speakers

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