em·​ploy·​ment | \ im-ˈplȯi-mənt How to pronounce employment (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Yet another career path is to shift from traditional employment, or working for someone else, to working for yourself – either building a business or working in the gig economy as a freelancer. Caroline Ceniza-levine, Forbes, "What Is The Best Career Path For Balancing Work And Family?," 8 May 2021 Administrators are holding a special board of education meeting Monday morning to vote on Flood's employment. Tim Fitzsimons, NBC News, "Kansas high school baseball coach suspended for using racial slur," 8 May 2021 The four-person team at Vidon Vineyard is now working with OLH on a plan to give the BIPOC community the education and training needed to find employment in tasting rooms, vineyards and cellars. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Vidon Vineyard makes wine history with hiring of Tiquette Bramlett," 8 May 2021 The principal of the school, St. Joseph Catholic School, has been placed on administrative leave while school and diocesan officials look into Hylka’s employment. Sarah Freishtat, chicagotribune.com, "Former Joliet Catholic teacher accused of grooming didn’t ‘fulfill employment requirements,’ Joliet diocese says," 8 May 2021 Manufacturing employment was down 18,000—predominantly in motor vehicles, where semiconductor-chip shortages idled some factories. Sarah Chaney Cambon, WSJ, "U.S. Employers Added 266,000 Jobs in April as Hiring Slowed," 7 May 2021 Nonfarm employment rose in April by a meager 266,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Employers, governors push myth that unemployment checks keep lazy workers home," 7 May 2021 As of March of this year, that number has jumped to more than 102,000 but is still far short of pre-pandemic employment. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘It’s like a war,’ San Diego restaurateur says of struggle to find workers," 7 May 2021 Retail lost 15,000 jobs; manufacturing shed 18,000; and construction employment was unchanged after a massive gain the prior month. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Economy added just 266K jobs in April, unemployment rose to 6.1% even as states eased restrictions, vaccinations rose," 7 May 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of employment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about employment

Time Traveler for employment

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for employment

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Employment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/employment. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for employment



English Language Learners Definition of employment

: the act of using something
: the act of paying someone to do a job
: work that a person is paid to do


em·​ploy·​ment | \ im-ˈplȯi-mənt How to pronounce employment (audio) \

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!