income

noun
in·come | \ ˈin-ˌkəm also ˈin-kəm or ˈiŋ-kəm \

Definition of income 

1 : a coming in : entrance, influx fluctuations in the nutrient income of a body of water

2 : a gain or recurrent benefit usually measured in money that derives from capital or labor also : the amount of such gain received in a period of time has an income of $30,000 a year

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for income

Synonyms

affluence, flux, inflow, influx, inpouring, inrush

Antonyms

outflow, outpouring

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of income in a Sentence

Any income from investments must be reported. Farming is his main source of income. Even on two incomes, we're having a hard time keeping up with our bills. He earns a good income as a consultant. What was the company's annual income?
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The council had unanimously approved the tax less than a month earlier, with the ordinance set to take effect in January and expected to raise about $47 million a year for homeless services and low-income housing. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Second lawsuit alleges Seattle City Council head-tax vote broke open-meetings law," 3 July 2018 Three-fourths of the bond proceeds would go toward building low-income housing. Melody Gutierrez, SFChronicle.com, "Gas taxes, cage-free chickens and a chopped-up California top fall ballot," 3 July 2018 The building will be restricted to residents 55 and older, and residency is income-based. Janelle Walker, Elgin Courier-News, "Construction set to start on South Elgin senior housing complex," 3 July 2018 It is run by Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp., a Boise nonprofit that specializes in low-income housing. Ruth Brown, Nicole Blanchard And Jason Lantz, idahostatesman, "Stabbing suspect attacked victims during a 3-year-old's birthday party to 'exact vengeance'," 1 July 2018 The residential tower near downtown Long Beach has 100 apartments for low-income people age 62 and older as well as disabled adults over age 18, according to its website. Author: Christopher Weber, Michael Balsamo, Anchorage Daily News, "Beloved firefighter fatally shot at retirement home," 25 June 2018 For anyone unfamiliar, this federal grant program funds clinics to help guarantee access to a variety of family planning and preventive health services for primarily low-income people or those who are uninsured. SELF, "An Abortion Provider Explains What’s Really at Stake With Changes to Title X Funding," 21 June 2018 The government has been working to manage growth, such as preserving green space and establishing a special fund to build low-income housing in the city, which spent $10 million last year, Mr. Briley said. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "As Nashville Rapidly Expands, Residents Worry the Metropolis Is Growing Too Fast," 18 June 2018 Tang highlighted her work in creating San Francisco’s local density bonus program, called HOME-SF, which offers incentives to developers to build low- and middle-income housing. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF Supervisor Katy Tang says she’s not running for re-election in November," 12 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about income

Statistics for income

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for income

The first known use of income was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for income

income

noun

Financial Definition of income

What It Is

Income is an actual or recorded inflow of cash or other assets. The term is used in many different contexts.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe works for Company XYZ. His salary is $100,000 per year. This is his income.

If the inflation rate is 3% per year, then the value of that $100,000 falls by 3% a year as goods and services get more expensive. As a result, after the first year on the job, John's salary is really only able to buy $100,000 – (3% * $100,000) = $97,000 of goods and services. In year two, John's salary is then only worth $97,000 – (3% * $97,000) = $94,090. The longer this goes on, the less John's $100,000 salary buys. By the end of five years, John's salary would be "worth" only $85,873. His "real income" is $85,873.

Gross income is income before taxes or adjustments. In the accounting world, gross income is usually the same thing as gross profit (that is, revenue minus cost of goods sold). So let's assume restaurant chain XYZ sold $1 million worth of food last year. The cost of that food was $330,000. Thus, the company's gross income was $1,000,000 - $330,000 = $670,000.

For individuals, gross income is not the same as taxable income. For example, if John makes $1,000 a week and uses $250 of that to invest in his 401(k) plan, his gross income would be $1,000 but his taxable income would be $750.

Ordinary income is income that is not a capital gain, dividend or other income subject to special taxation.

In the United States, income is taxed progressively, meaning that there are a series of brackets in which income is taxed. For example, in 2006, the first $7,550 of ordinary income reported by a single person was taxed at 10%; then the income over $7,550 but below $30,650 was taxed at 15%. The income over $30,650 but below $74,200 was taxed at 25%; the income over $74,200 but below $154,800 was taxed at 28%; and the income over $154,800 but below $336,550 was taxed at 33%. Any income over $336,550 was taxed at 35%.

Why It Matters

Wages are the most common kinds of income. "Unearned income," such as capital gains, is taxed at different rates, as are dividends. Interest income is sometimes exempt from ordinary income taxes (as in the case of most municipal bond investments). Dividends paid to the shareholders of a company are another kind of income, and those investors might even rely on those dividend payments for their day-to-day living expenses. Dividends usually come in the form of cash, but they can come in the form of stock, which can also be regarded as income for tax purposes.

Knowing how taxes on income affect one's portfolio can make a big difference in investing decisions. For example, one big advantage to owning dividend stocks is their generally favorable tax treatment. Until 2003, dividends were taxed as ordinary income -- up to 38.6% -- and capital gains were taxed at a much lower 20%. In 2003, the tax on most dividend income and some capital gains fell to 15%. Not only did this encourage companies to increase dividends, it encouraged stock ownership because interest income from Treasuries and money market funds were still taxed as ordinary income.

Source: Investing Answers

income

noun

English Language Learners Definition of income

: money that is earned from work, investments, business, etc.

income

noun
in·come | \ ˈin-ˌkəm \

Kids Definition of income

: a gain usually in money that comes in from labor, business, or property

Keep scrolling for more

income

noun
in·come

Legal Definition of income 

: a gain or recurrent benefit usually measured in money that derives from capital or labor also : the amount of such gain received in a period of time an income of $20,000 a year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on income

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

WORD OF THE DAY

an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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