em·​ploy·​ee im-ˌplȯ(i)-ˈē How to pronounce employee (audio)
im-ˈplȯ(i)-ˌē How to pronounce employee (audio)
variants or less commonly employe
: one employed by another usually for wages or salary and in a position below the executive level

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 Members of the city’s Jewish community, spurred by messages on social media, turned out in droves to support a coffee shop owner in Manhattan who had said that his employees had walked out to protest his company’s support for Israel. Alan Yuhas, New York Times, 25 Nov. 2023 The 10-week program depends on volunteer mentors, school staff members and employees of the state’s attorney’s office, where truancy prosecution is viewed as a last resort. Donna St. George, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 Likewise, in 2021, the Japanese government’s annual economic policy guidelines included a recommendation that companies let employees opt for a four-day workweek. Byorianna Rosa Royle, Fortune, 23 Nov. 2023 Moniruzzaman told Nvidia that the source code was only stored locally on his laptop and not shared with other Nvidia employees. Jon Porter, The Verge, 23 Nov. 2023 The improved wage scales and other workplace benefits announced by the Japanese automakers are, of course, good for those companies’ employees, who become collateral beneficiaries of the UAW’s efforts. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2023 The move shocked not only shocked industry insiders and investors, but executive-level employees at the company, as well. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 22 Nov. 2023 Veterinary records obtained by WIRED show many of the fatalities resulted directly from surgical complications linked by employees of the California National Primate Research Center to the implant procedure. Dhruv Mehrotra, WIRED, 22 Nov. 2023 Afterward, Southwest employees hosted a fiesta, complete with a mariachi band and Mexican food for lunch. Jenna Wang, Peoplemag, 22 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'employee.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


employ entry 1 + -ee entry 1, perhaps after French employé

First Known Use

1822, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of employee was in 1822

Dictionary Entries Near employee

Cite this Entry

“Employee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/employee. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


em·​ploy·​ee im-ˌplȯi-ˈē How to pronounce employee (audio) (ˌ)em- How to pronounce employee (audio)
: one who works for another for wages or a salary

Legal Definition


variants also employe
: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on employee

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