tele·​com·​mute | \ ˈte-li-kə-ˌmyüt How to pronounce telecommute (audio) \
telecommuted; telecommuting; telecommutes

Definition of telecommute

intransitive verb

: to work at home by the use of an electronic linkup with a central office

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Other Words from telecommute

telecommuter noun

Did You Know?

Telecommute derives from the prefix tele-, a descendant of the Greek tele, meaning "far off," and the verb "commute," which arose from the Latin commutare, meaning "to change" or "to exchange." The practice of working at home and interfacing with the office via modem, telephone, or another telecommunications device has only recently become commonplace, but the word telecommute has been around since the mid-1970s. Its earliest documented use can be found in a January 1974 article in The Economist that predicted, "As there is no logical reason why the cost of telecommunication should vary with distance, quite a lot of people by the late 1980s will telecommute daily to their London offices while living on a Pacific island if they want to."

Examples of telecommute in a Sentence

The company now allows some of its employees to telecommute.
Recent Examples on the Web The broader reality, though, is that many of those who telecommute across state lines will face conflict and confusion. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Coronavirus telecommuters could face a tax nightmare," 27 June 2020 There is also a work-from-home feature which lines up jobs for candidates who want to telecommute, something that promises to be bigger following the pandemic. William Thornton |, al, "Birmingham firm launching new job search app," 19 June 2020 Almost 8 in 10 workers over 65 can’t telecommute, compared with about 6 in 10 between 35 to 44, the analysis found. Aimee Picchi, USA TODAY, "Older Americans face another pandemic risk: Most can't work remotely despite COVID-19," 19 June 2020 Employees who cannot telecommute can go into the office, but facilities with 20 or more people must limit occupancy to 20% or less to maintain six feet of separation between workers. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: June 14-15," 16 June 2020 Estimates are of how many have been forced to telecommute over the last three months are all over the map. Greg Jefferson,, "Jefferson: Port San Antonio is poised to take off post-pandemic," 12 June 2020 The agency was limping along with ancient technology and too few people to help the public even before the pandemic sent most of its workers home, without the ability to telecommute. Liz Weston, oregonlive, "Liz Weston: Why the delay with my 2019 Federal tax return?," 6 June 2020 The County’s biggest employer is Redstone Arsenal, which tightened access by mid-March, and where thousands of white-collar workers were given the option to telecommute. al, "Two Alabama cities, two very different outbreaks," 24 May 2020 Low-income workers, many of them black or Latino, have much more exposure to the virus than those who can easily telecommute, and they’ve been disproportionately killed by it. Los Angeles Times, "COVID-19 hits the red states," 8 May 2020

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

1974, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of telecommute was in 1974

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Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Telecommute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for telecommute


How to pronounce telecommute (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of telecommute

: to work at home by using a computer connection to a company's main office

More from Merriam-Webster on telecommute

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with telecommute

Nglish: Translation of telecommute for Spanish Speakers

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