Definition of salary in US English:



  • A fixed regular payment, typically paid on a monthly or biweekly 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 $29,000’
    Compare with wage
    as modifier ‘a 15 percent salary increase’
    • ‘He sold his car but on his monthly salary of £80 there was no way he could pay off his debts.’
    • ‘For many teachers of state schools, monthly salaries do not cover their daily needs.’
    • ‘The salaries of the remaining employees will be cut with the size of the cut depending on the pay grade.’
    • ‘Reportedly the salary for a new employee is double the minimum wage set by the government.’
    • ‘Another major concern of the Social Ministry will be the increase of salaries and pensions.’
    • ‘They have presided over a vast increase in the number and salaries of public sector employees.’
    • ‘Under the law, we can't cut employee salaries as long as we are making a profit.’
    • ‘They seem content to let prices climb further out of reach of us mere mortals earning regular salaries.’
    • ‘Unions use collective bargaining to help set wages and salaries and worker benefits.’
    • ‘Some employees saw increases in their salaries while others had theirs reduced.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The authority had a wide statutory power to pay its employees such salaries and wages as it thought fit.’
    • ‘It employed people on a monthly salary and at its peak there were more than 5,000 on the payroll.’
    • ‘Employers pay their staff their weekly or monthly salaries after deducting the income tax they owe.’
    • ‘The salary discrimination permits the superiors to fix the salaries of their employees on an arbitrary basis.’
    • ‘The strikers are demanding the payment of salaries owed to them over the past two months.’
    • ‘The company has decided to freeze the level of pensionable salaries for its 10,000 workers.’
    • ‘The two people will receive their normal monthly salaries as they will be obliged to work at least six hours a day.’
    • ‘If you have a personal pension, remember to increase payments as your salary increases.’
    pay, earnings, remuneration, fee, fees, emolument, emoluments, stipend, honorarium, hire, wages, wage, gross pay, payment, earned income
    View synonyms


[with object]archaic
  • Pay a salary to.

    • ‘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’.