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

Democratic senators have recently proposed plans for universal single-payer health care, free college tuition, a national $15 minimum wage and a federal jobs guarantee for those unable to find employment. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Those included companywide antibias training, a commitment to diversity in the corporate office, a public apology, a permanent end to the receipt-checking policy, and a $15 hourly minimum wage at the store. Samantha Melamed,, "Why Philly men who say Lowe's racially profiled them are urging a boycott," 7 July 2018 The proposal aims to bring pay in line with the $15 minimum wage that the state is moving toward while considering the challenges the drivers face as independent contractors. New York Times, "New York City Considers New Pay Rules for Uber Drivers," 2 July 2018 Justice Democrats would endorse universal Medicare, a $15 minimum wage and free tuition at public universities, all while turning down any corporate PAC money. David Weigel, Washington Post, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorses more Democratic insurgents, and it’s paying off quite nicely," 2 July 2018 In Virginia’s 9th and 6th Congressional Districts, Anthony Flaccavento and Jennifer Lewis are running on platforms that include support for a $15 minimum wage, free higher education, and Medicare for All. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Give the Left a Chance," 27 June 2018 And both of those amendments — a $15 minimum wage and the legalization of recreational marijuana — would be largely bankrolled by one man, Central Florida attorney John Morgan of the Morgan and Morgan law firm. Dan Sweeney,, "Should Florida legalize recreational marijuana? Tell us what you think.," 27 June 2018 Tyler writes with enormous warmth about all her characters but reserves her deepest affection for people who work with their hands (frequently for minimum wage) and who populate communities that are down on their luck but determined to get by. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Anne Tyler's latest novel evokes Hamilton. Here are possible real-life stand-ins for locations in 'Clock Dance'," 13 July 2018 Dependent contractors working through online platforms, unlike employees, are not entitled to a minimum wage. The Economist, "Run, TaskRabbit, run: July 2030," 5 July 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

8 Sep 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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