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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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

About 500,000 more would be punching the clock today had their employment rate returned to pre-downturn levels. Jeanna Smialek, The Seattle Times, "Millennial men leave perplexing hole in hot US job market," 20 Nov. 2018 The three tribes with the lowest employment rate are all in Arizona. Alexandra Mondalek, Vox, "Fake turquoise jewelry is hurting Native Americans economically," 24 Oct. 2018 Once a driver of employment nationally and a leading indicator of national economic trends, coal is a shadow of a shadow or a sliver of itself. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "What happened to coal," 21 Aug. 2018 Since its start in 2011, Silver Fork has had an employment success rate of about 70 percent, with alumni working in various hospitality roles from cooking in restaurants like Big Jim’s to managing roles at Eataly. Grace Wong, chicagotribune.com, "Silver Fork teaches culinary skills, confidence," 9 July 2018 The study also found nearly 700,000 kids in Michigan live in a family where no parent has full-time unemployment, and despite an improvement in employment rates, many residents are working in seasonal and part-time positions to make ends meet. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "1 in 5 Michigan kids in poverty, new study shows," 27 June 2018 The national employment rate for adults with cognitive disabilities is less than 25 percent, while 61 percent of such students who attended the college programs were employed one year later, according to Think College. Susan Snyder, Philly.com, "'The choice should be there.' More colleges enroll students with intellectual disabilities," 25 June 2018 The region added more than 80,000 jobs over the past year, growing 2.7 percent and and exceeding the national employment rate of 1.6 percent. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Study: Houston ranks no. 6 for real estate investing," 15 June 2018 After hip-hop artist Kanye West reiterated his support for Trump and aligned himself with critics of black Democrats, the president went on Twitter to praise the rapper and pointed to historic low employment rates. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Steve Bannon thinks Martin Luther King Jr. would be ‘proud’ of Donald Trump," 23 May 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

7 Dec 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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