employ

verb
em·​ploy | \ im-ˈplȯi How to pronounce employ (audio) , em-\
employed; employing; employs

Definition of employ

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make use of (someone or something inactive) employ a pen for sketching
b : to use (something, such as time) advantageously a job that employed her skills
c(1) : to use or engage the services of
(2) : to provide with a job that pays wages or a salary
2 : to devote to or direct toward a particular activity or person employed all her energies to help the poor

employ

noun
em·​ploy | \ im-ˈplȯi How to pronounce employ (audio) , ˈim-ˌplȯi, ˈem-ˌplȯi How to pronounce employ (audio) \

Definition of employ (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : use, purpose
2 : the state of being employed in the city's employ

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Other Words from employ

Verb

employer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for employ

Synonyms: Verb

assume, engage, fee [chiefly Scottish], hire, lay on [chiefly British], pay, place, recruit, retain, sign (up or on), take on

Synonyms: Noun

employment, engagement, hire

Antonyms: Verb

ax (or axe), can, discharge, dismiss, fire, sack

Antonyms: Noun

joblessness, nonemployment, unemployment

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Choose the Right Synonym for employ

Verb

use, employ, utilize mean to put into service especially to attain an end. use implies availing oneself of something as a means or instrument to an end. willing to use any means to achieve her ends employ suggests the use of a person or thing that is available but idle, inactive, or disengaged. looking for better ways to employ their skills utilize may suggest the discovery of a new, profitable, or practical use for something. an old wooden bucket utilized as a planter

Examples of employ in a Sentence

Verb

The company is accused of employing questionable methods to obtain the contract. You should find better ways to employ your time. I had to employ a lawyer to review the contract. It's a small company, employing a staff of only 20.

Noun

while you're under our employ, you can't do outside work for our competitors
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Before employing the fleet of buzzing machines, Chaltiel worked with a team of students to build a lightweight geodesic timber frame and cover it with a light formwork of burlap sacks filled with sand. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Mud-spraying drones could help build emergency shelters," 27 Sep. 2018 Astrophysicists have long dreamed of employing messengers besides light to reveal the inner workings of the many unfathomable wonders in the cosmos. Mark Bowen, Scientific American, "Neutrinos on Ice: Astronomers' Long Hunt for Source of Extragalactic "Ghost Particles" Pays Off," 12 July 2018 YouthWorks has for decades employed Baltimore residents ages 14 to 21 for five weeks during the summer. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore's Youthworks program paid some people for work they didn't do, audit finds," 11 July 2018 VideoAmp employs around 180 people and counts clients such as GroupM, Tyson Foods Inc., A+E Networks and Tubi. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "Raine Group Leads $70 Million Investment in Ad-Tech Firm VideoAmp," 1 May 2019 As her 888,000 followers know, Keaton doesn't employ a stylist. Glamour, "Diane Keaton Is My Favorite Instagram Fashion Influencer," 24 Apr. 2019 Her research has been employed by conservationists as well as cosmetics companies, most recently Herbal Essences, which partnered with Kew to verify the ingredients in its Bio:Renew line — ingredients like the hair-smoothing antioxidant histidine. Cotton Codinha, Allure, "7 Influential People on Environmental Advocacy in the Beauty Industry," 22 Apr. 2019 The system also employs a vapor chamber, five copper heat pipes, and two of Acer's 4th-gen AeroBlade metal fans. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "I could slide the Acer Predator Helios 700's HyperDrift keyboard all day," 12 Apr. 2019 The company currently employs 14 full-time employees with a network of about 30 contractors. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "What I Wear to Work: Carly Leahy, Co-Founder of Modern Fertility," 8 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kika Tech’s Keka Keyboard app was also found to have employ similar tactics to claim referral credits. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Google Play-promoted Android apps are using scammy ad practices, report says," 26 Nov. 2018 The duo visit the musty apartment of a reclusive language tutor, the elegant suite of a physicist in the employ of the U.S. government, and the shadowy ghetto lair of a brutal young hoodlum. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Tales of Three Blood-Soaked Cities," 30 Nov. 2018 Those investigators can come from within the employ of MLB or hired outside investigators. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Major League Baseball will investigate claims of racism against the Mariners," 13 Nov. 2018 What’s more, many public figures who may be potential targets of attacks have mail-screening areas in their employ, staffed with experts who know how to identify suspicious packages. Alex Ward, Vox, "2 possible reasons the pipe bombs didn’t explode," 26 Oct. 2018 The cruise industry gets knocked around for the long hours and often hectic conditions of the people in its employ. Michael Ian Black, New York Times, "Cruises Are So Uncool They Are Cool," 3 July 2018 Beyond the broadcasters’ exit poll team of Curtice and Fisher, several other leading U.K. academics also worked for hedge funds—either directly or for the pollsters in their employ. Cam Simpson, Bloomberg.com, "Brexit’s Big Short: How Pollsters Helped Hedge Funds Beat the Crash," 25 June 2018 Kawhi Leonard awoke Friday still under the employ of the Spurs, despite rumblings leading to Thursday’s draft the team might be compelled to deal its disillusioned superstar. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs aim to hang onto Leonard — for now," 22 June 2018 Her whole employ was saying and doing outrageous things to get attention. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, ""A teaching moment.' Valerie Jarrett and others respond to 'Roseanne' controversy," 29 May 2018

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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1679, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for employ

Verb

Middle English emploien, from Anglo-French empleier, emploier, emplier to entangle, apply, make use of, from Latin implicare to enfold, involve, from in- + plicare to fold — more at ply

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Statistics for employ

Last Updated

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for employ

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

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More Definitions for employ

employ

verb

English Language Learners Definition of employ

: to use (something) for a particular purpose or to do something
: to use or direct (something, such as your time or effort) in order to achieve a particular goal
: to use or get the services of (someone) to do a particular job

employ

verb
em·​ploy | \ im-ˈplȯi How to pronounce employ (audio) \
employed; employing

Kids Definition of employ

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to give a job to : use the services of The company employs over 500 workers.
2 : to make use of They employ traditional methods of farming.

employ

noun

Kids Definition of employ (Entry 2 of 2)

: the state of being hired for a job by The gentleman is in the employ of a large bank.

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More from Merriam-Webster on employ

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with employ

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for employ

Spanish Central: Translation of employ

Nglish: Translation of employ for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of employ for Arabic Speakers

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