in·​come | \ ˈin-ˌkəm How to pronounce income (audio) also ˈin-kəm or ˈiŋ-kəm \

Definition of income

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

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?
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Recent Examples on the Web The program allowed banks to earn a risk-free five basis points of income: for example borrowed at -1% and deposited back at -0.5%. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022 Right now, my main source of income is from brand deals, doing tattoos here and there, and murals in restaurants — but mostly brand deals. Jessica Roiz, Billboard, 21 Jan. 2022 One issue for many is a shortage of disposable income. Los Angeles Times, 21 Jan. 2022 Amazing reporting on the town of Brookside, Alabama, where abusive, corrupt policing has become a major driver of income for the police department and mayor. Ivana Hrynkiw |, al, 20 Jan. 2022 Except that such a number wouldn’t matter much in an economy the size of the U.S.’s where the amount of disposable income has grown by leaps and bounds in the age of television. John Tamny, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 Critics call these type of taxes on unrealized gains unconstitutional based on the definition of income. Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News, 17 Jan. 2022 The licence fee, which amounts to approximately £3.75 billion ($5.1 billion) per year, is the BBC’s primary source of income. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 17 Jan. 2022 Prior to the pandemic, Bollywood movie stars and singers would regularly host live promotional events for their films, glitzy award ceremonies, and stand-alone shows that were a source of income and connected them with their audiences. Biman Mukherji, Fortune, 15 Jan. 2022

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.

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First Known Use of income

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for income

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near income



income account

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Statistics for income

Last Updated

24 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Income.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for income



English Language Learners Definition of income

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


in·​come | \ ˈin-ˌkəm How to pronounce income (audio) \

Kids Definition of income

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



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

More from Merriam-Webster on income

Nglish: Translation of income for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of income for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about income


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