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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for employee


hand, hireling, jobholder, retainer, worker


employer, gaffer [British]

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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

That includes employees at places like Wells Fargo, not just the recent IPO holders like Uber and Slack. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "No More Deals: San Francisco Considers Raising Taxes on Tech," 16 July 2019 Milwaukee's more than 83,000 employees who work downtown will be treated to lunches and other fun during Downtown Employee Appreciation Week. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Where to find free lunch during Milwaukee's Downtown Employee Appreciation Week," 16 July 2019 The bill aims to ensure no employee can be fired or passed over for a job because of racially biased criticism of their hair. USA TODAY, "Penal farm to produce farm, music under the sea: News from around our 50 states," 16 July 2019 But the slowdown in revenue and profit is hitting Goldman Sachs employees. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Goldman Sachs' sales slump, but it remains the king of Wall Street," 16 July 2019 Akron Children’s hopes to enroll about a dozen employees in the program this fall. Robin Goist, cleveland.com, "Akron Children’s Hospital, Stark State expand tuition-reimbursement program for hospital workers," 16 July 2019 All the while, employees who work for the labels and distributors are struggling to function under the strain. Independent Retailers, Billboard, "An Open Letter to the Majors From Independent Record Stores (Guest Op-Ed)," 16 July 2019 The bureau has about 9,260 employees, of which roughly 350 work in Washington. Author: Juliet Eilperin, Anchorage Daily News, "Interior to move one-fifth of Bureau of Land Management’s Washington staff out West, as part of larger reorganization push," 16 July 2019 The Adams verdict came a month after a database of state employee salaries published by The Republic revealed pay inequities in the Secretary of State's Office, among other agencies. Maria Polletta, azcentral, "Former Arizona Senate staffer wins $1M in discrimination lawsuit involving Democratic leaders," 16 July 2019

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

19 Jul 2019

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 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on employee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with employee

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for employee

Spanish Central: Translation of employee

Nglish: Translation of employee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of employee for Arabic Speakers

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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