Definition of wage in English:



  • 1A fixed regular payment, typically paid on a daily or weekly basis, made by an employer to an employee, especially to a manual or unskilled worker.

    ‘we were struggling to get better wages’
    Compare with salary
    • ‘Many of us earn an average wage and as things stand now would not be able to afford private health care.’
    • ‘That means a writer not only has to write, but crucially, have accepted, three plays a year just to earn the national average wage.’
    • ‘Rises earlier this year in tax and national insurance mean that average take-home wages are falling.’
    • ‘In retirement, most people would love to earn the average wage per annum.’
    • ‘Of course, those poor people who were lucky enough to have jobs at the minimum wage would now be earning lower wages.’
    • ‘They were weary of working twelve hour days, seven days a week for subsistence wages.’
    • ‘Therefore, there is a working class that is turning into daily wage labor.’
    • ‘Many can't afford to take this time off, because they receive no wage or social welfare payment while they do so.’
    • ‘In just 5 years the wages and salaries earned by New Zealanders have increased by 32 percent.’
    • ‘My entitlement is based on my earnings two years ago when I was earning a good wage.’
    • ‘But United pay his weekly wages so Keane is careful not to tread on the precious egos of anybody still at the club.’
    • ‘I'm thinking it'll cost half my daily wages in cab fare, but it might just be worth it.’
    • ‘This is already the case for ministers of state, who employ their drivers on a fixed wage.’
    • ‘The tight labor market meant that workers in all wage groups earned more money.’
    • ‘The intention is to force up unemployment, drive down wages and reduce taxation.’
    • ‘A multinational behind glamorous fashion and perfume brands pays its factory workers starvation wages.’
    • ‘My wife and I are in our late 20s and are earning below national average wages.’
    • ‘Workers pay taxes on cash wages but not on fringe benefits like health insurance.’
    • ‘An average worker on a full-time wage is taxed less than in Australia, as a proportion of wages.’
    • ‘Careful tracking of the production of each worker was kept and served as the basis for wage payment.’
    pay, payment, remuneration, salary, emolument, stipend, fee, allowance, honorarium
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    1. 1.1Economics The part of total production that is the return to labor as earned income, as distinct from the remuneration received by capital as unearned income.
      • ‘The only major item that is controlled in the Celtic tiger economy is wages.’
      • ‘The wages share of national income down (and the profits took up most of the slack).’
      • ‘Its flip side is the nation's income: wages and salaries, profits, interest and rent.’
    2. 1.2The result or effect of doing something considered wrong or unwise.
      ‘the wages of sin is death’
      • ‘Call it the greenhouse effect or the wages of tampering too much with the environment.’
      • ‘It is because sin is universal, and death is the consequence or wages of sin.’
      • ‘In place of moral vertigo what we get, especially in West's fine performance, is a mortified awareness of the wages of sin.’
      • ‘Extensive lung damage resulting from inhalation of the deadly vapours were the wages of his diligence.’
      reward, recompense, requital, retribution
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  • Carry on (a war or campaign)

    ‘it is necessary to destroy their capacity to wage war’
    • ‘A single mother is waging a six-month battle with a housing developer which is building on land next to her home.’
    • ‘Campaigners have accused the company wanting to develop the site of waging a dirty tricks campaign.’
    • ‘The Bush administration has waged a relentless lobbying effort in the past month.’
    • ‘He is waging a war on inequality - and that is a very different agenda.’
    • ‘I have no objection to the US waging a war, provided this country is not involved.’
    • ‘The real question is whether it can successfully wage a war of public opinion during and after the military conflict.’
    • ‘The last council became bigoted against cars and squandered vast amounts of council tax payer's money waging war on them.’
    • ‘Teenage hooligans have been waging a campaign against contractors on a Waterside building site.’
    • ‘Most obviously, the battle for "hearts and minds" is largely waged with media imagery.’
    • ‘The insurgents are waging an armed struggle to replace the monarchy with a communist people's republic.’
    • ‘Are we waging war on poverty, inequality, the victimisation of women and children?’
    • ‘Their aim: to strike at the heart of an enemy waging war throughout the world.’
    • ‘We believe, however, that waging a war will only make the likelihood of retaliation greater.’
    • ‘The attacks demonstrate that the guerrilla war is still being waged fiercely.’
    • ‘John F. Kerry criticized Bush for failing to conduct adequate diplomacy before waging war on Iraq.’
    • ‘Hughey was left with the prospect of fighting for an army waging a war that he believed was illegal, or running.’
    • ‘For first world countries at least, contemporary warfare is waged primarily from the skies.’
    • ‘Why is the Executive not waging war on underachievement among the underprivileged in our schools?’
    • ‘The released detainees and their parents expressed their appreciation to the SEP for the campaign waged on their behalf.’
    • ‘Their demand for more autonomy is undermined by the brutal campaign that they wage against innocent civilians throughout Russia.’
    engage in, carry on, conduct, execute, pursue, undertake, prosecute, practise, proceed with, devote oneself to, go on with
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Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French, of Germanic origin; related to gage and wed.