pay·​roll | \ ˈpā-ˌrōl How to pronounce payroll (audio) \

Definition of payroll

1 : a paymaster's or employer's list of those entitled to pay and of the amounts due to each
2 : the sum necessary for distribution to those on a payroll also : the money to be distributed

Examples of payroll in a Sentence

They cut him from their payroll. He's the manager of a baseball team with a $50 million payroll. Businesses are keeping their payrolls low by embracing new technologies.
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Recent Examples on the Web Without more government aid, the company could face another $1 billion in losses from excessive payroll costs in the first quarter, Kelly said in an investor call. Dallas News, "Southwest Airlines posts first annual loss in 48 years, warns revenues will need to double to break even," 28 Jan. 2021 Recognizing how hard hit these industries have been, Congress upped the amount to 3.5 times average 2019 monthly payroll costs. Rhonda Abrams, USA TODAY, "What's in the stimulus package for small businesses, PPP loans and cultural grants," 31 Dec. 2020 Reducing payroll costs and operating expenses has helped the company’s financial results, even though there is still work to do, Mr. Donohue said. Mark Maurer, WSJ, "Barnes & Noble Education CFO Eyes More Cuts as Campuses Remain Closed," 28 Dec. 2020 Previously, the maximum amount that a restaurant could borrow was based on a formula in which its average monthly payroll costs were multiplied by 2.5. Washington Post, "Stimulus bill will help restaurants, but critics say it won’t save them from the pandemic’s effects," 21 Dec. 2020 The layoffs could be prevented if Congress approves a new financial stimulus package that includes additional financial aid to help cover airline payroll costs. Mary Schlangenstein, Fortune, "Southwest Airlines warns nearly 13% of workforce at risk of layoffs after punishing year for travel," 4 Dec. 2020 As a result, Leadbetter said, even after spending more to make her facilities Covid compliant, her expenses overall went down because the business loan payments were eliminated and the PPP loan covered their payroll costs for two months. Jeanne Sahadi, CNN, "How a small family-run cider business is still breaking even during a pandemic," 19 Nov. 2020 Payroll increased because executive-branch agencies were authorized to use up to 2.4% of payroll costs for merit raises at the start of fiscal 2020, Johnston said. Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Online, "Data sought on agency changes," 9 Nov. 2020 Other data suggests that higher pay improves worker satisfaction and leads to lower turnover, which can help mitigate employers’ higher payroll costs. NBC News, "Increasing the minimum wage would help, not hurt, the economy," 23 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'payroll.' 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 payroll

1740, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for payroll

Time Traveler

The first known use of payroll was in 1740

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Statistics for payroll

Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Payroll.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for payroll



English Language Learners Definition of payroll

: a list of the people who work for a company and the amount of money that the company has agreed to pay them
: the total amount of money that a company pays to all of its employees


pay·​roll | \ ˈpā-ˌrōl How to pronounce payroll (audio) \

Kids Definition of payroll

1 : a list of persons who receive pay
2 : the amount of money necessary to pay the employees of a business

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Comments on payroll

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