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

Witnesses told police the two women walked up to the drive-thru window to argue and then took turns punching and slapping the employee who was taking food orders, court officials said. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Women accused of attacking worker in busy fast-food kitchen," 17 Sep. 2019 The employees of the non-profit had evacuated the brand-new building before the explosion occurred One firefighter died and six more were injured when a propane explosion destroyed the office of a non-profit organization in Maine on Monday morning. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Firefighter Killed, 6 Injured in Explosion at Maine Facility for People with Disabilities," 16 Sep. 2019 In a half-dozen lawsuits, he is accused of refusal to pay wages to former assistants and part-time employees. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "There’s More History to Antonio Brown’s History," 16 Sep. 2019 Steve, Kim and I are immensely grateful that the 143 employees of Hell’s Kitchen have supported us through thick and thin. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "Minneapolis restaurant Hell’s Kitchen is selling — to its employees," 15 Sep. 2019 In April, Multnomah County in Oregon agreed to pay $100,000 to a black employee who sued, alleging she was harassed by co-workers after asking that a Blue Lives Matter flag not be displayed at the office. Daily Pilot, "As follow-up to rainbow flag, Costa Mesa councilman wants to hang ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag at City Hall," 14 Sep. 2019 Kenosha Country Sheriff David Beth told reporters that the employees filled cartridges with syringes loaded from jars labeled as containing THC oil. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Black-market THC-vape operation busted in Wisconsin, police say," 12 Sep. 2019 The employee who receives your form says that, because of the great number of applications the office has received, the staff will take up to nine months to issue the permit. Dan Ariely, Scientific American, "The Contagion of Corruption," 9 Sep. 2019 Once the bank employees positively identified her as the suspect, Thompson confessed to the crime. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Police: Woman robbed a bank in Taylor Mills, fled to the woods, then confessed," 7 Sep. 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

11 Oct 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).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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