em·​ploy·​ee | \im-ˌplȯ(i)-ˈē, (ˌ)em-;im-ˈplȯ(i)-ˌē, em- \
variants: or less commonly employe

Definition of employee 

: one employed by another usually for wages or salary and in a position below the executive level

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Synonyms & Antonyms for employee


hand, hireling, jobholder, retainer, worker



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Examples of employee in a Sentence

A good boss listens to his employees. The company has more than 2,000 employees worldwide.

Recent Examples on the Web

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, was also notified and has addressed the matter directly with Harford, two Uber employees said. Mike Isaac, BostonGlobe.com, "At Uber, new questions arise about executive behavior," 14 July 2018 Research shows that companies deemed top workplaces attract more highly qualified job applicants and experience reduced employee turnover. baltimoresun.com, "Deadline extended for nominations for the Top Workplaces in the Baltimore region," 14 July 2018 Microsoft has endured its own share of criticism lately around the ethical uses of its technology, as employees protested a contract under which US Immigration and Customs Enforcement uses Microsoft’s cloud-computing service. Scott Thurm, WIRED, "Microsoft Calls For Federal Regulation of Facial Recognition," 13 July 2018 An employee there said clients are reporting a significantly increasing number of coyote sightings throughout the area – especially at Hopper Hill Road, Forest Road, 8 Mile Road and 9 Mile Road. Maytal Levi, Cincinnati.com, "Woman claims coyote attacked her puppy in Anderson Township," 12 July 2018 Last autumn government employees across the country were ordered to watch a six-part television series about China’s emergence as a world power. The Economist, "In its trade war with America, China dials down the hype," 12 July 2018 Idaho’s Human Rights Commission has 10 full-time employees tasked with investigating possible discriminatory cases revolving around employment, housing, education and public accommodations. Kimberlee Kruesi, idahostatesman, "In wake of #MeToo, Idaho sees dramatic increase in sexual harassment claims," 12 July 2018 The Journal reports: Former employees say cost cutting is critical to Vista’s model. James Freeman, WSJ, "The Red State Business Model," 11 July 2018 According to a new study from LinkedIn (msft, -0.36%), most employees said that success in their careers really means being able to spend time with their families and disconnecting from work. Rachel King, Fortune, "This Is the Number One Reason Why People Don't Unplug From Work While on Vacation," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'employee.' 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 employee

1822, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for employee

Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for employee

The first known use of employee was in 1822

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More Definitions for employee



English Language Learners Definition of employee

: a person who works for another person or for a company for wages or a salary


em·​ploy·​ee | \im-ˌplȯi-ˈē \

Kids Definition of employee

: a person who is paid to work for another


variants: also employe

Legal Definition of employee 

: a person usually below the executive level who is hired by another to perform a service especially for wages or salary and is under the other's control — see also respondeat superior — compare independent contractor

Note: In determining whether an individual is an employee, courts look at several factors, including the nature of the compensation paid, provision for employee benefits, whether the hired party is in business, tax treatment of the hired party, source of the equipment used, and location of the work. Statutes, such as workers' compensation acts and labor laws, usually include a definition of employee as it is used in the statute.

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Comments on employee

What made you want to look up employee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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