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

She was employed at NAU for five years, but her employment ended Nov. 1, 2017, shortly after she was arrested on Oct. 30 on stalking charges. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "Ex-NAU professor accused of stalking hotshot fire crew members takes plea deal," 10 July 2018 The first step in reversing the dramatic drop in female employment is understanding it (see Briefing). The Economist, "Why India needs women to work," 5 July 2018 The state retirement board can move to halt pension payments for former state employees convicted of crimes related to their employment. Matt Rocheleau, BostonGlobe.com, "As State Police overtime probe intensifies, troopers race to lock in pensions and retire," 2 July 2018 Cristina, Jessica and Angela, interviewed over the course of this months-long Chronicle investigation, requested their last names not be used for fear of endangering their current employment. Jonathan Kauffman, SFChronicle.com, "La Taqueria workers’ risky complaints over unpaid overtime, health care bring reforms," 30 June 2018 Sporting have been struggling with a number of serious off-the-field issues in the past few weeks, after a significant number of first-team players terminated their employment at the club. SI.com, "Leicester City Striker Islam Slimani Could Be Set to Leave Club This Week," 22 June 2018 This is the second time that Pruitt’s wife and her employment have shown up on the long list of the administrator’s ethical scandals. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "WaPo: Scott Pruitt Had an Aide Ask Donors to Find His Wife a Job," 13 June 2018 But other records show her previous employment and salary. Anchorage Daily News, "EPA chief Scott Pruitt tapped aide, donors to help wife land job at conservative group," 13 June 2018 For this reason, his employment with CrossFit has been terminated. Monique Judge, The Root, "From IDGAF to ‘Y’all Hiring?’ CrossFit Exec Fired for Homophobic Tweets [Updated]," 8 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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Statistics for employment

Last Updated

14 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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Comments on employment

What made you want to look up employment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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