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


hand, hireling, jobholder, retainer, worker


employer, gaffer [British]

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

Beck teams up with other employees who were belittled or dismissed by Stark to create the fake persona of superhero Mysterio. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "How Iron Man's Legacy — and BARF Technology — Plays a Major Role in Spider-Man: Far From Home," 2 July 2019 As a general rule, the district brings trainers in to meet with district employees, rather then sending them out of state to conferences, Soranno said. John Wisely, Detroit Free Press, "Financially struggling River Rouge district officials travel big on school dime," 1 July 2019 Employers with more than 50 employees have until June 30, 2021. Margot Roosevelt, latimes.com, "Worried about retiring? California will help you save money," 1 July 2019 The sign lay flat on the floor that day in September 2016, and a Jack Cincinnati Casino employee even walked around it but did not pick it up, Sadowski’s attorney, Matt Nakajima, said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Woman Awarded $3 Million After Slipping Near Fallen 'Wet Floor' Sign at Ohio Casino," 1 July 2019 Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would not have to contribute. Hillary Borrud | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive.com, "Oregon Senate sends paid family and medical leave plan to Gov. Kate Brown," 30 June 2019 With 18,000 employees in the U.S. and 15,000 in Europe, HCL is a global company and has deep expertise in computing, said Sukamal Banerjee, a vice president. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Boeing increasingly relied on outsourced $9-an-hour engineers to test software," 28 June 2019 Therapeutic cooking can be done one-on-one, with families and with employees in a workshop format. Lauren Lee, CNN, "Therapists use cooking to stir up better mental health," 28 June 2019 And there were two new robotic additions to Amazon’s warehouses: Pegasus and Xanthus, named after mythical horses, work more closely with human employees than previous generations. James Vincent, The Verge, "I welcomed our new robot overlords at Amazon’s first AI conference," 27 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of employee

1822, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about employee

Statistics for employee

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for employee

The first known use of employee was in 1822

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!