Definition of salary in English:



  • A fixed regular payment, typically paid on a monthly basis but often expressed as an annual sum, made by an employer to an employee, especially a professional or white-collar worker.

    ‘he received a salary of £24,000’
    Compare with wage
    [as modifier] ‘a 15 per cent salary increase’
    • ‘For many teachers of state schools, monthly salaries do not cover their daily needs.’
    • ‘The company has decided to freeze the level of pensionable salaries for its 10,000 workers.’
    • ‘It employed people on a monthly salary and at its peak there were more than 5,000 on the payroll.’
    • ‘Some employees saw increases in their salaries while others had theirs reduced.’
    • ‘Another major concern of the Social Ministry will be the increase of salaries and pensions.’
    • ‘Reportedly the salary for a new employee is double the minimum wage set by the government.’
    • ‘Employers pay their staff their weekly or monthly salaries after deducting the income tax they owe.’
    • ‘The authority had a wide statutory power to pay its employees such salaries and wages as it thought fit.’
    • ‘The strikers are demanding the payment of salaries owed to them over the past two months.’
    • ‘They have presided over a vast increase in the number and salaries of public sector employees.’
    • ‘The two people will receive their normal monthly salaries as they will be obliged to work at least six hours a day.’
    • ‘Unions use collective bargaining to help set wages and salaries and worker benefits.’
    • ‘He sold his car but on his monthly salary of £80 there was no way he could pay off his debts.’
    • ‘The private sector average wage would be used to set salaries for all public sector employees.’
    • ‘There has already been agreement not to increase salaries for public service employees.’
    • ‘Under the law, we can't cut employee salaries as long as we are making a profit.’
    • ‘If you have a personal pension, remember to increase payments as your salary increases.’
    • ‘The salary discrimination permits the superiors to fix the salaries of their employees on an arbitrary basis.’
    • ‘The salaries of the remaining employees will be cut with the size of the cut depending on the pay grade.’
    • ‘They seem content to let prices climb further out of reach of us mere mortals earning regular salaries.’
    pay, earnings, remuneration, stipend, honorarium, hire, wages, wage, gross pay, payment, earned income
    take-home pay, net pay
    View synonyms


[WITH OBJECT]archaic
  • Pay a salary to.

    ‘the Chinese system—salary the doctor and stop his pay when you get ill’
    • ‘The Scottish sculptor Michael Noble (who subsequently married the countess) and the psychiatrist Mario Marini were salaried by her as well.’
    • ‘The Spanish clergy, which had been deprived of most of its land, was salaried by the state under the Concordat of 1851.’


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French salarie, from Latin salarium, originally denoting a Roman soldier's allowance to buy salt, from sal salt.