minimum wage


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 suit is seeking an order to have strippers reclassified as employees, and to have anyone employed by the Admiral over the past 10 years who opts into the lawsuit get back pay for minimum wages, as well as other monetary damages. Robert Channick,, "Exotic dancer sues Admiral Theatre for denying her employee wages and benefits," 13 July 2018 While the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour hasn’t risen in eight years, more than 25 states now have higher minimum wages, in some cases nearly double the national floor. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, "Paid family leave: While US lags behind, more states set policies," 12 July 2018 Other topics include raising the minimum wage, legalizing recreational marijuana and improving education. Hal Boedeker,, "Casey Anthony: Bill Sheaffer looks back for WFTV," 11 July 2018 An estimated 142,000 workers in San Francisco will benefit from the new minimum wage, the SF Examiner reports. Michael Mcgough, sacbee, "Will $15 minimum wage in SF slow down the Bay Area exodus? Here’s what the numbers say," 1 July 2018 House and Senate Democrats unveiled a platform called A Better Deal, which focuses largely on increasing the minimum wage, putting a dent in rising income inequality, and solving the crisis of unaffordable housing. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "A new Pew poll finds immigration has overtaken health care and the economy as a top 2018 issue.," 20 June 2018 To attract workers, farmers are raising wages to well above the minimum wage, which in California is $11 per hour, especially in higher cost places like Napa, Calif. Farmers are also increasingly paying for H-2A visas for guest workers. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Here's How Immigration Policy Impacts Your Avocados and Other Produce," 19 June 2018 Fully one-fifth of employees earn less than the minimum wage, suggests a survey by the council. The Economist, "British employers find it surprisingly easy to flout labour law," 13 June 2018 My policy ideas included increasing the minimum wage, heightening awareness of county programs, and decriminalizing marijuana. Bushra Amiwala, Glamour, "Running For Office As a Muslim Woman, People Were More Focused on My Identity Than My Politics," 4 June 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

20 Oct 2018

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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


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


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


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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Comments on minimum wage

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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