minimum wage

noun
Updated on: 16 Dec 2017

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

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

Recent Examples of minimum wage from the Web

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.

First Known Use of minimum wage

1860


Financial Definition of MINIMUM WAGE

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.


MINIMUM WAGE Defined for English Language Learners

minimum wage

noun

Definition of minimum wage for English Language Learners

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


Law Dictionary

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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