em·​ploy·​ee | \ im-ˌplȯ(i)-ˈē How to pronounce employee (audio) , (ˌ)em-; im-ˈplȯ(i)-ˌē, em- How to pronounce employee (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for employee



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 And many employees in nursing homes and meatpacking plants are immigrants who care for the nation’s elderly and process its steaks while also being cut off from health care by the Trump administration’s policies. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "We Live in a Patchwork Pandemic Now," 20 May 2020 Asymptomatic employees are able to get antibody testing, according to spokeswoman Becky Armendariz. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Experts say health care workers should get tested frequently for COVID-19. Are they in Arizona?," 19 May 2020 Just under one-fifth of a company’s employees typically have a mental health disorder, as evidenced on health insurance claims, Tilenius said. Arianne Cohen, Bloomberg.com, "U.S. Employers Scramble to Address Mental Health Epidemic," 19 May 2020 Now that many employees can work from home, experts say many people will go for cheap cars to run around town. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Ohio restaurants that break social distancing rules could lose liquor licenses: The Wake Up for Tuesday, May 19, 2020," 19 May 2020 Those numbers have increased since three weeks ago, when the combined total of Tier Two and Three employees was 200. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky working to expand number of unemployment employees who can tackle complex problems," 18 May 2020 The most common complaint to health departments involved employees not wearing masks. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "COVID-19: City told bars and restaurants to cut down on the crowds. They did, Cranley says," 18 May 2020 For a full-time employee working 40 hours a week, and spreading the bonus over six weeks, the payouts are the equivalent of an additional $1.25 per hour. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Some chains to end "hero bonuses" but Target to keep paying," 18 May 2020 At one Dallas location, employees now wear masks and gloves. CBS News, "The new normal in retail: How stores are accommodating customers in the era of coronavirus," 18 May 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of employee

1822, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about employee

Time Traveler for employee

Time Traveler

The first known use of employee was in 1822

See more words from the same year

Statistics for employee

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Employee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/employee. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for employee


How to pronounce employee (audio) How to pronounce employee (audio)

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 How to pronounce employee (audio) \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!