living wage


Definition of living wage

1 : a subsistence wage
2 : a wage sufficient to provide the necessities and comforts essential to an acceptable standard of living

Examples of living wage in a Sentence

He was barely earning a living wage.
Recent Examples on the Web Housekeepers, cooks, phlebotomists, orderlies and others face many of the same risks as their higher-profile colleagues, but sometimes with less access to protective gear, pay that can fall below a living wage and only a modicum of recognition. Washington Post, "Medical assistants, cooks and cleaners also face risks on the front lines o...," 4 July 2020 The boosts came after years of lobbying by unions and worker rights groups such as Fight for $15, which argue that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is far from a living wage. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Minimum wage hike in 3 states boosts income for battered workers," 1 July 2020 Elisabeth’s father-in-law has lost his transport business — and his house — under pressure from Uber, the convenient new app that frees drivers from time cards, health insurance and a living wage. Washington Post, "In ‘Friends and Strangers,’ a new mom insists the babysitter is her buddy. She’s not.," 30 June 2020 Latino workers make less than a living wage in Oakland while only 12.3% of their white neighbors do. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "Living in Oakland is ‘hell’? President shows his true colors," 29 June 2020 The employment rate is one thing, in other words, but the number of jobs that pay a living wage is quite another. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "The Preachers of the Austerity Gospel Are Back," 12 June 2020 During his stop at Whale Branch Middle School in Seabrook, South Carolina, Booker spoke about his plans to ensure teachers a living wage. Yesha Callahan, Essence, "How ESSENCE Covered The 2020 Presidential Election On The Road," 5 June 2020 Among other things that means ensuring renewable energy supplies, living wages, and legal labor. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "The coronavirus exposed a flaw in global supply lines. It’s time to build better ones," 5 Mar. 2020 Uber and Lyft, for instance, have essentially destroyed taxi driving as a career, replacing the vocation with gig workers who often work at below living wages. Sonny Tai, Quartz at Work, "How to determine the social value of your startup," 2 Mar. 2020

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

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for living wage

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The first known use of living wage was in 1817

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Statistics for living wage

Last Updated

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Living wage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for living wage

living wage


English Language Learners Definition of living wage

: an amount of money you are paid for a job that is large enough to provide you with the basic things (such as food and shelter) needed to live an acceptable life

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