minimum wage

noun

Definition of minimum wage

2 : the lowest wage paid or permitted to be paid specifically : a wage fixed by legal authority or by contract as the least that may be paid either to employed persons generally or to a particular category of employed persons

Examples of minimum wage in a Sentence

Congress will vote on a bill to raise the minimum wage.

Recent Examples on the Web

The union argues that is still barely above Seattle’s minimum wage, which will increase to $16 an hour for large employers in January. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "With contract talks still stalled, Seattle EMTs set strike deadline of Dec. 21," 11 Dec. 2018 Workers who create enough value to warrant Seattle’s minimum wage will fare fine. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Seattle’s Fake Free Lunch," 31 Oct. 2018 The state’s minimum wage is currently set at $8.50 an hour. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "There's No Place in the U.S. Where a Minimum Wage Worker Can Afford a 2-Bedroom Apartment," 14 June 2018 Maryland’s minimum wage is $9.25 and New York’s is $10.40. Lasherica Thornton, Philly.com, "A boost in the minimum wage in this year's Pa. budget?," 1 June 2018 Inflation is mind-boggling, whittling the nation’s minimum wage to the equivalent of $3 a month. New York Times, "Critics Say He Can’t Beat a Dictator. This Venezuelan Thinks He Can.," 17 May 2018 Few workers in formal jobs earn that little, although millions are paid somewhere between one and two times the minimum wage, according to government data. Anthony Harrup, WSJ, "Mexico to Give Minimum Wage Another Boost," 17 Dec. 2018 The casualties in early January 2014 occurred when police opened fire on striking factory workers who were demanding the minimum wage be doubled. Sopheng Cheang, The Seattle Times, "Cambodian court gives suspended sentences to labor leaders," 11 Dec. 2018 Purchases continued to shift online as stores put many of their best deals on their websites and more consumers, even those earning minimum wages, shop on their smartphones. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Black Friday shoppers chose their screens over brick-and-mortar stores," 26 Nov. 2018

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

1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for minimum wage

The first known use of minimum wage was in 1860

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More Definitions for minimum wage

minimum wage

noun

Financial Definition of minimum wage

What It Is

Minimum wage is the lowest hourly amount an employer may legally pay an employee.

How It Works

If an employer compensates employees on an hourly basis, that employer must pay the employee no less than the minimum wage. In the United States, the minimum wage is set by the federal government. The government periodically modifies the minimum wage to reflect rises in the general price level and cost of living.

Why It Matters

In the labor market, wages rise and fall depending on the supply and demand for labor. Though it restricts economic efficiency, the argument in support of minimum wage laws is that it curbs employers' attempts to exploit workers and ensures that employees are compensated at a livable rate.

Source: Investing Answers

minimum wage

noun

English Language Learners Definition of minimum wage

: an amount of money that is the least amount of money per hour that workers must be paid according to the law

minimum wage

noun

Legal Definition of minimum wage

: a wage fixed by contract or especially by law as the least that may be paid either to employees generally or to a particular category of employees — compare scale

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More from Merriam-Webster on minimum wage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with minimum wage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for minimum wage

Britannica English: Translation of minimum wage for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about minimum wage

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