golden handcuffs

plural noun

Definition of golden handcuffs

  1. :  special benefits offered to an employee as an inducement to continue service

golden handcuffs was our Word of the Day on 11/21/2014. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Chances are you've heard of a golden handshake, which is a particularly tempting severance agreement offered to an employee in an effort to induce the person to retire early. People started getting golden handshakes (by that name) around 1960; by 1976, English speakers had also coined the accompanying golden handcuffs to describe a situation in which someone is offered a special inducement to stay. The expression turns up often in quasi-literal uses, such as "slapped golden handcuffs on" or "a shiny new set of golden handcuffs."

1976

First Known Use of golden handcuffs

1976


GOLDEN HANDCUFFS Defined for English Language Learners

golden handcuffs

plural noun

Definition of golden handcuffs for English Language Learners

  • : the salary and benefits that stop a highly paid employee from choosing to leave a job


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