em·ploy·ment | \im-ˈplȯi-mənt \

Definition of employment 

1 : use, purpose

2a : activity in which one engages or is employed seeking gainful employment

b : an instance of such activity

c : the extent or degree to which a labor force is employed Employment is high.

3 : the act of employing : the state of being employed employment of a pen in sketching

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Synonyms & Antonyms for employment


employ, engagement, hire


joblessness, nonemployment, unemployment

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Choose the Right Synonym for employment

work, employment, occupation, calling, pursuit, métier, business mean a specific sustained activity engaged in especially in earning one's living. work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not. her work as a hospital volunteer employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer. your employment with this firm is hereby terminated occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training. his occupation as a trained auto mechanic calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession. the ministry seemed my true calling pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest. her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted. acting was my one and only métier business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs. the business of managing a hotel

Examples of employment in a Sentence

laws that have encouraged the employment of women I've been looking for employment in the machine trade. The new factory should provide employment for hundreds of workers. unskilled workers trying to find paid employment She hopes to find employment as a teacher. The magazine did well during the course of her employment as editor. Employment is at an all-time high in this part of the state. The city is faced with inadequate housing and a lack of employment.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Even the employment of Bandlow, who works for Fox Rothschild — a national law firm of 800 lawyers and 21 offices — adds more legitimacy than other companies pursuing these cases have had. Adiel Kaplan, miamiherald, "The Steven Spielberg of porn sues to make Floridians stop pirating his raunchy videos," 12 July 2018 More crops have cut the number of young men seeking itinerant employment in the cities during the dry season. The Economist, "Mini-grids could be a boon to poor people in Africa and Asia," 12 July 2018 In the same trial, Kovacs and three others are also facing fraud charges stemming from the fictitious employment of interns in the EU parliament in 2012-2013. Pablo Gorondi, The Seattle Times, "Hungarian politician on trial for spying on EU for Russia," 10 July 2018 As a result, steel production in Indiana is up 36 percent since 1991 while steel employment in the state dropped 37 percent in the same time frame. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "As tariffs begin, Northwest Indiana auto workers and farmers share concerns," 10 July 2018 In the same trial, Kovacs and three others are also facing fraud charges stemming from the fictitious employment of interns in the EU parliament in 2012-2013. Washington Post, "Hungarian politician on trial for spying on EU for Russia," 10 July 2018 The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of wholesale and retail buyers to contract by 2 percent over a decade, versus a 7 percent increase for all occupations. New York Times, "High-Skilled White-Collar Work? Machines Can Do That, Too," 7 July 2018 Last month, Sara Netanyahu was indicted for spending $100,000 on gourmet food between 2010 and 2013, despite the employment of a full-time cook at the residence. Jewish Journal, "Bill to exempt Israeli prime ministers from certain taxes passes first reading," 26 June 2018 Regular payroll employment in ground-transportation companies grew at a much slower rate, Brookings found. Alana Semuels, The Atlantic, "I Delivered Packages for Amazon and It Was a Nightmare," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'employment.' 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 employment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for employment

The first known use of employment was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for employment


em·ploy·ment | \im-ˈplȯi-mənt \

Kids Definition of employment

1 : the act of using something The artist is known for her employment of unusual materials.

2 : job sense 1, occupation I am seeking employment in your area.

3 : the act of hiring a person to do work



Legal Definition of employment 

1 : an activity or service performed for another especially for compensation or as an occupation

2 : the act of employing : the state of being employed

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