pay grade


: a level of compensation for work especially when understood to reflect responsibility and authority
"People listen to you regardless of your pay grade," a Goldman managing director told me. "There is a real respect for the individual voice."John Cassidy
often used figuratively
The unanswerable questions ascend into the skies, far above your pay grade, whatever it may be.Robert W. LuckyUnfortunately … he appears to think the task of community development is below his pay grade.Faith BautistaNo one will read this book and come away wondering if steroids really work. Oh, they work. They bump a competitor up a whole pay grade—from finishing in the middle of the pack in the final heat to breaking the tape and collecting the winner's bonus.Michael Sokolove

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But those are decisions that are made above my pay grade. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Mar. 2023 The state today also announced there will be pay grade and salary increase for current officers and additional steps for pay raises. Ivana Hrynkiw |, al, 7 Mar. 2023 In Malden, where paraprofessionals won a 24 percent increase in wages in the first year of their new contract, the lowest pay grade now starts at $27.62 an hour. Deanna Pan,, 23 Feb. 2023

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pay grade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pay grade was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near pay grade

Cite this Entry

“Pay grade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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