employ

verb
em·​ploy | \ im-ˈplȯi , em-\
employed; employing; employs

Definition of employ

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make use of (someone or something inactive) employ a pen for sketching
b : to use (something, such as time) advantageously a job that employed her skills
c(1) : to use or engage the services of
(2) : to provide with a job that pays wages or a salary
2 : to devote to or direct toward a particular activity or person employed all her energies to help the poor

employ

noun
em·​ploy | \ im-ˈplȯi , ˈim-ˌplȯi, ˈem-ˌplȯi \

Definition of employ (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : use, purpose
2 : the state of being employed in the city's employ

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Other Words from employ

Verb

employer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for employ

Synonyms: Verb

assume, engage, fee [chiefly Scottish], hire, lay on [chiefly British], pay, place, recruit, retain, sign (up or on), take on

Synonyms: Noun

employment, engagement, hire

Antonyms: Verb

ax (or axe), can, discharge, dismiss, fire, sack

Antonyms: Noun

joblessness, nonemployment, unemployment

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Choose the Right Synonym for employ

Verb

use, employ, utilize mean to put into service especially to attain an end. use implies availing oneself of something as a means or instrument to an end. willing to use any means to achieve her ends employ suggests the use of a person or thing that is available but idle, inactive, or disengaged. looking for better ways to employ their skills utilize may suggest the discovery of a new, profitable, or practical use for something. an old wooden bucket utilized as a planter

Examples of employ in a Sentence

Verb

The company is accused of employing questionable methods to obtain the contract. You should find better ways to employ your time. I had to employ a lawyer to review the contract. It's a small company, employing a staff of only 20.

Noun

while you're under our employ, you can't do outside work for our competitors
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For a time she was employed as a secretary while her husband worked as a singing waiter. CBS News, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., Frank Sinatra's first wife, dead at 101," 14 July 2018 The average farm feeds about $1 million into the economy, Cox said, adding that the 19 farms employed close to 40 people. Kate Talerico, The Courier-Journal, "As Dean Milk contract ends, some farmers pick up a last-minute hope," 29 June 2018 Invest Northern Ireland reports an influx of foreign investors focused on technology and financial services, with nearly 900 international companies employing around 100,000 people. Amanda Sloat, Time, "Brexit Could Jeopardize Peace in Northern Ireland—and America Is Ignoring It," 29 June 2018 She was employed with Macy’s until her retirement in 2014. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 6/28," 28 June 2018 The company announced plans in October to build a $10 billion display panel factory and campus in Mount Pleasant, west of Racine, which could employ up to 13,000 workers. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "'Our wetlands are not for sale': More than 200 rally against Foxconn development," 28 June 2018 The government shutdown has effected more aviation workers than the 51,000 employed by TSA. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "President of Flight Attendants Union Suggests General Strike to End Government Shutdown," 23 Jan. 2019 Out of the nearly 56,000 people Google employed in the U.S. in 2017, 544 were black women. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook's diversity efforts failing African-American and Hispanic women," 12 July 2018 There are more than 51,000 people employed in the state’s construction industry — a 9.2 percent increase over a year ago. Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Construction job fair July 11 in Broward," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kika Tech’s Keka Keyboard app was also found to have employ similar tactics to claim referral credits. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Google Play-promoted Android apps are using scammy ad practices, report says," 26 Nov. 2018 The duo visit the musty apartment of a reclusive language tutor, the elegant suite of a physicist in the employ of the U.S. government, and the shadowy ghetto lair of a brutal young hoodlum. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Tales of Three Blood-Soaked Cities," 30 Nov. 2018 Those investigators can come from within the employ of MLB or hired outside investigators. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Major League Baseball will investigate claims of racism against the Mariners," 13 Nov. 2018 What’s more, many public figures who may be potential targets of attacks have mail-screening areas in their employ, staffed with experts who know how to identify suspicious packages. Alex Ward, Vox, "2 possible reasons the pipe bombs didn’t explode," 26 Oct. 2018 The cruise industry gets knocked around for the long hours and often hectic conditions of the people in its employ. Michael Ian Black, New York Times, "Cruises Are So Uncool They Are Cool," 3 July 2018 Beyond the broadcasters’ exit poll team of Curtice and Fisher, several other leading U.K. academics also worked for hedge funds—either directly or for the pollsters in their employ. Cam Simpson, Bloomberg.com, "Brexit’s Big Short: How Pollsters Helped Hedge Funds Beat the Crash," 25 June 2018 Kawhi Leonard awoke Friday still under the employ of the Spurs, despite rumblings leading to Thursday’s draft the team might be compelled to deal its disillusioned superstar. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs aim to hang onto Leonard — for now," 22 June 2018 Her whole employ was saying and doing outrageous things to get attention. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, ""A teaching moment.' Valerie Jarrett and others respond to 'Roseanne' controversy," 29 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of employ

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1679, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for employ

Verb

Middle English emploien, from Anglo-French empleier, emploier, emplier to entangle, apply, make use of, from Latin implicare to enfold, involve, from in- + plicare to fold — more at ply

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Statistics for employ

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for employ

The first known use of employ was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for employ

employ

verb

English Language Learners Definition of employ

: to use (something) for a particular purpose or to do something
: to use or direct (something, such as your time or effort) in order to achieve a particular goal
: to use or get the services of (someone) to do a particular job

employ

verb
em·​ploy | \ im-ˈplȯi \
employed; employing

Kids Definition of employ

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to give a job to : use the services of The company employs over 500 workers.
2 : to make use of They employ traditional methods of farming.

employ

noun

Kids Definition of employ (Entry 2 of 2)

: the state of being hired for a job by The gentleman is in the employ of a large bank.

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More from Merriam-Webster on employ

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with employ

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for employ

Spanish Central: Translation of employ

Nglish: Translation of employ for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of employ for Arabic Speakers

Comments on employ

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a servile follower or underling

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