Definition of employ in US English:

employ

verb

[with object]
  • 1Give work to (someone) and pay them for it.

    ‘the firm employs 150 people’
    with object and infinitive ‘temps can be employed to do much of the work’
    • ‘At most we are talking about perhaps 20 people employed on a full-time basis.’
    • ‘The company now employs more people here through its various business interests than were ever employed at the Cork plant.’
    • ‘From this pool of funds, six guards are employed on a permanent basis.’
    • ‘The firm employs ten people and hires drivers when required.’
    • ‘Both Joe and Audrey participated in retirement investment programs while they were employed full-time.’
    • ‘Teachers employed under contract do not receive holiday or sick leave and other basic entitlements.’
    • ‘The requirement was that she had to be employed under a permanent contract.’
    • ‘Today, some estimates put the figure of people directly employed in the industry at around 200.’
    • ‘In the cities, both men and women are employed outside the home.’
    • ‘Most of the population is employed in agriculture and herding or works as expatriate laborers.’
    • ‘The firm now employs seven people directly and a further 15 work at other facilities.’
    • ‘As the 1990s drew to a close only half the workforce was employed on a full-time, permanent basis.’
    • ‘The firm employs three scientists and may take on more staff as its operations expand.’
    • ‘The survey also showed that workers employed by private firms are paid less than workers in the public sector.’
    • ‘In many Western countries there are child labour laws preventing firms from employing children under a minimum age.’
    • ‘A total of 30 staff are employed by the firm at its Kendal and Lancaster offices.’
    • ‘The nine-partner firm employed a large staff and offered a wide range of services.’
    • ‘Six months later he was made redundant by the small firm that employed him.’
    • ‘And as tourist numbers inevitably decline, where will all the workers currently employed in the entertainment sector go?’
    • ‘Four wardens employed by the agency were sacked in May after allegations of burglary.’
    hire, engage, recruit, take on, take into employment, secure the services of, sign up, sign, put on the payroll, enrol, appoint, commission, enlist
    working, in work, in employment, with a job, holding down a job, with a career
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Keep occupied.
      ‘most of the newcomers are employed in developing the technology into a product’
      • ‘Many houses were flooded, and the villagers were busily employed in devising means to keep the water out.’
      • ‘Krifsha was employed in the hiring of limousines, the court heard.’
      • ‘Henry had, early in that year, invaded France with a huge army and was happily employed burning farms and striking poses.’
      • ‘If Hannah were alive now, she would be well employed in writing appeals for animal shelters and Help the Aged.’
      • ‘A large number of them are employed in activities such as stitching, packing and embroidery works.’
      • ‘They are employed in a variety of roles in the Glasgow bureau.’
      • ‘Dutch experts are already employed in assessing how great the risk is to Dublin.’
      occupy, engage, involve, keep busy, tie up
      View synonyms
  • 2Make use of.

    ‘the methods they have employed to collect the data’
    • ‘Well, this is a tactic often employed in the film industry.’
    • ‘A tractor had been employed in the initial stages to level the existing fields to make it fit for the cultivation of rice.’
    • ‘Statistics show that close to half of all antibiotics used are employed in agriculture.’
    • ‘The method cities employ to collect unpaid property taxes varies from one extreme to another.’
    • ‘A rigorous scientific method was employed to generate the target sample for the study.’
    • ‘People use it because it works, but it's not the only communication paradigm that could be employed in an office environment.’
    • ‘Various defence strategies are commonly employed to protect people from avalanches.’
    • ‘Too little fresh thinking was employed in trying to avert this war.’
    • ‘Not for the first time, the rhetoric of equality and brotherhood was employed in the service of unspeakable evil.’
    • ‘He was familiar with the tactics Joseph alleges were employed in this case.’
    • ‘Innovative methods already employed by individual growers will be published in a case-study report.’
    • ‘Thus, predatory tactics are employed more frequently and across the board by large and small firms alike.’
    • ‘This selection method is a common practice employed by all the editors reviewed here.’
    • ‘High-resolution NMR techniques are now routinely employed to study the structure of complex macromolecules in solution.’
    • ‘To maintain the water's clarity and purity, this wilderness area employs ingenious purification methods.’
    • ‘Caustic soda is just a byproduct, that is usefully employed in the making of detergents.’
    • ‘Forecasting methods now commonly employed for this purpose rely on time-series approaches that generally ignore economic content.’
    • ‘What other methods can be employed by citizens to get the attention of the authorities?’
    • ‘We need not look far for contemporary examples of blatant divisive methods employed by community leaders.’
    • ‘Similar tactics are often employed against political defendants during pretrial proceedings.’
    • ‘Gel filtration and dialysis are purification methods commonly employed for this purpose.’
    use, utilize, make use of, avail oneself of, put into service
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1The state or fact of being employed for wages or a salary.

    ‘I started work in the employ of a grocer and wine merchant’
    • ‘Shortly after, my visitor, the one-time employee, left their employ.’
    • ‘Years of flying around the world as a fighter pilot in the employ of the United States Navy had accustomed the man to short sleeping hours.’
    • ‘His opening weeks in the employ of the Scottish Football Association have been gently turbulent.’
    • ‘Having finished his apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic, he had come to Australia in 1957 in the employ of the Commonwealth Government.’
    • ‘However, there is a reason that people are leaving your employ.’
    • ‘He was not in the employ of a British University.’
    • ‘It centres around a couple living in Stratord, Ontario who are both in the employ of the local Shakespeare festival.’
    • ‘In June I was told that the helpful Mr Partridge had left the employ of the council.’
    • ‘She finally finds herself in the employ of a doctor and his pleasant wife, and moves into their luxurious London flat.’
    • ‘Thomas was ‘an industrious labourer’ and of ‘good character’, and worked in the employ of the local landowner.’
    • ‘I also just happened across this piece claiming that Christopher Columbus' real name was Giovanni Griego, and he was a known pirate in the employ of the King of Portugal.’
    • ‘If I could be a librarian I would be in the employ of the Balfour Library at my favourite museum in the world.’
    • ‘My first and foremost function in his employ was as an instrument of fear.’
    • ‘This had to do with revealing that she was secretly in the employ of the Central Intelligence Agency, using a cover employer to disguise her affiliation.’
    • ‘But different rules apply now that he is in the employ of the Scottish Football Association.’
    1. 1.1archaic Employment.
      ‘her place of employ’
      job, post, position, situation, day job, occupation, profession, trade, livelihood, career, business, line, line of work, calling, vocation, craft, pursuit
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (formerly also as imploy): from Old French employer, based on Latin implicari ‘be involved in or attached to’, passive form of implicare (see imply). In the 16th and 17th century the word also had the senses ‘enfold, entangle’ and ‘imply’, derived directly from Latin; compare with implicate.

Pronunciation

employ

/əmˈploi//əmˈplɔɪ/