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

Cuomo has touted accomplishments such as gun control, free public college tuition and a higher minimum wage. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Florence downgraded, but still very dangerous; Another bad night for 'Bernie Sanders Democrats'," 13 Sep. 2018 Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia all have higher minimum wages than Kentucky, while Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia have the same rate, according to the U.S. labor department. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Kingdom workers could lose overtime pay under Senate-backed plan," 5 Feb. 2018 LeFrak and her team conceive the designs, then send materials to women in Rwanda and New Jersey, who earn more than the local minimum wage, to assemble and customize the stunning pieces (check them out at Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "This Nonprofit Jewelry Company Provides Women With Their First Job—and Hope—After Prison," 8 Sep. 2016 In all, only 49,000 Pennsylvania residents are getting paid the minimum wage — but more than 1 million are in jobs earning less than $12 an hour, according to the state’s Independent Fiscal Office. Lasherica Thornton,, "A boost in the minimum wage in this year's Pa. budget?," 1 June 2018 Party-Line Splits Seven of the eight Democrats and both independents supported an increase in the minimum wage, while all six Republicans opposed it. Matthew Kauffman,, "From Tolls To Guns To Pot To Casinos, Connecticut's Gubernatorial Hopefuls Speak Out," 6 May 2018 Greece, like fellow euro member Spain, decided this year to sharply increase the minimum wage, despite the legacy of high unemployment left by Europe’s long debt crisis. Nektaria Stamouli, WSJ, "Greece, Spain Raise Minimum Wage Despite High Unemployment," 17 Mar. 2019 After a tiresome 12 hour day of driving a taxi that barely rewarded minimum wage, my father gave his entire earnings for that week by handing over his wallet in order to escape with his life. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "11 Teen Gun Violence Survivors and Activists on the Parkland Shooting Anniversary," 14 Feb. 2019 In terms of technology. The House caucus has the priorities of health care, minimum wage, infrastructure. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Silicon Valley’s Rep. Ro Khanna talks tech regulation on The Vergecast," 27 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

21 Apr 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


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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with minimum wage

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Britannica English: Translation of minimum wage for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about minimum wage

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