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

How high can the minimum wage go before the costs outweigh the benefits? Tom Fairless, WSJ, "World Governments Test Minimum-Wage Raises," 4 May 2019 In particular, folks in places like the Tijuana-San Diego border area who travel from Mexico to the U.S., where minimum wage is higher, could be impacted . Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "4 Ways Trump's U.S.-Mexico Border Shutdown Could Impact Everyday Life," 1 Apr. 2019 The company said its minimum wage has risen over $4 an... Allison Prang, WSJ, "Bank of America Aims to Raise Minimum Wage to $20 an Hour by 2021," 9 Apr. 2019 The Mexican auto industry will raise its minimum wage and some other labor standards. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "I’m starting to think Mexico isn’t going to pay for the wall," 20 Dec. 2018 Target recently vowed to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Amazon institutes $15 minimum wage for all US employees, including temps," 2 Oct. 2018 Every single park and resort worker at Disney World will have their minimum wage increased to $15 by 2021, a move that would increase some starting wages by 50%, CNN reported on August 25. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "Disney World Will Have a $15 Minimum Wage by 2021 — A Big Win, Especially for Young People," 30 Aug. 2018 Nationally, 29 states and a number of localities have enacted their own higher minimum wages. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, "As economy hums, fewer workers make minimum wage," 6 July 2018 With his signature, a coalition of labor, faith, and community groups won’t move forward with its minimum wage and paid leave questions, and a top business group won’t press its sales tax question. Joshua Miller,, "Governor Baker signs ‘grand bargain’ bill," 28 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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Statistics for minimum wage

Last Updated

19 May 2019

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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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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 Encyclopedia article about minimum wage

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