em·​ploy·​ee im-ˌplȯ(i)-ˈē How to pronounce employee (audio)
em- How to pronounce employee (audio)
variants or less commonly employe
: one employed by another usually for wages or salary and in a position below the executive level

Example Sentences

A good boss listens to his employees. The company has more than 2,000 employees worldwide.
Recent Examples on the Web The customer said the employee then began calling him the N-word, the station reported. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2022 The employee said that Collins was in the office, asking for an advance on his next royalty check. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 25 Nov. 2022 Authorities are conducting an accident investigation to determine exactly what occurred leading up to the employee's death, which will include an inspection of the vehicles involved, the police commissioner said. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 24 Nov. 2022 Andre Bing, the Walmart employee who is believed to have opened fire Tuesday night on his coworkers in a Chesapeake, Virginia, store, reportedly left a manifesto on his phone. Fox News, 24 Nov. 2022 More telling, the Bahamian FTX employee said they were laid off in June, after only working for the company for six months. Leo Schwartz, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2022 The employee requested that police call one of the customers to tell them not to return to Bar Louie. cleveland, 22 Nov. 2022 The whistleblower law specifically protects whistleblower disclosures made as part of the employee’s job duties. Dan Eaton, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2022 The 27-year-old bank employee was one of many downtown office workers who spent their break voting at the Footprint Center. Lane Sainty, The Arizona Republic, 21 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History


employ entry 1 + -ee entry 1, perhaps after French employé

First Known Use

1822, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of employee was in 1822

Dictionary Entries Near employee

Cite this Entry

“Employee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/employee. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



em·​ploy·​ee im-ˌplȯi-ˈē How to pronounce employee (audio) (ˌ)em- How to pronounce employee (audio)
: one who works for another for wages or a salary

Legal Definition



variants also employe
: a person usually below the executive level who is hired by another to perform a service especially for wages or salary and is under the other's control see also respondeat superior compare independent contractor

Note: In determining whether an individual is an employee, courts look at several factors, including the nature of the compensation paid, provision for employee benefits, whether the hired party is in business, tax treatment of the hired party, source of the equipment used, and location of the work. Statutes, such as workers' compensation acts and labor laws, usually include a definition of employee as it is used in the statute.

More from Merriam-Webster on employee

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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