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

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the U.S., more than 60 percent of the people employed in the animal slaughtering and processing industries are Black or Latinx, and 38 percent are immigrants. Amy Quichiz, SELF, "10 Vegans of Color on What Being Vegan Means to Them," 6 Jan. 2019 After the hurricane, owner Matilsha Marxuach figured out how to keep workers employed by making mosquito netting (207 San Francisco Street, shopconcalma.com). Sara Clemence, WSJ, "Puerto Rico on the Rebound: A Three-Day Getaway Guide," 26 Dec. 2018 This is funny because of course parachutes reduce death and injury when employed in the appropriate context, namely when plummeting thousands of feet toward the hard surface of the earth. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Study Shows Parachutes Are Totally Worthless," 17 Dec. 2018 For starters, unlike the 1.1 million people employed in the U.S. as security guards, these robots aren’t designed to use force against an intruder. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "Is this robot really going to replace a security guard?," 8 Oct. 2018 On Wednesday, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare admitted that a man employed at the Fukushima nuclear power plant died of lung cancer linked to radiation exposure. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Japan acknowledges first radiation-linked death out of Fukushima," 5 Sep. 2018 There have already been 22,683 shifts employed in 2018. Neil Greenberg, chicagotribune.com, "Analytics killed the bunt. Now a new data-driven strategy could bring it back to life.," 10 July 2018 Getting employed in the auto industry was a long shot. Jacob Sweet, miamiherald, "His dream was to race cars. Now this Miami kid is building them for one of best F1 teams," 10 July 2018 Light, citing competitive reasons, would not provide the exact numbers of Ofo bikes in metro Phoenix or the number of people employed to retrieve them. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Phoenix and Scottsdale move to regulate bike-sharing," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Among the people Moe and Polly Wiesen probably knew in those days were the Feinsteins, another prominent family in the garment industry, who had a domestic in their employ named Mary Ann Moroney. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer long wondered if he's related to JFK; at 72, he learned the truth," 12 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

14 Jan 2019

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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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