• IPA: /ɪmˈplɔɪ/, /ɛmˈplɔɪ/

employ (plural employs)

  1. The state of being an employee; employment.
    The school district has six thousand teachers in its employ.
Synonyms Verb

employ (employs, present participle employing; past and past participle employed)

  1. To hire (somebody for work or a job).
    Yesterday our local garage employed a new mechanic.
    • 1668 July 3rd, James Dalrymple, “Thomas Rue contra Andrew Houſtoun” in The Deciſions of the Lords of Council & Seſſion I (Edinburgh, 1683), page 547 ↗
      Andrew Houſtoun and Adam Muſhet, being Tackſmen of the Excize, did Imploy Thomas Rue to be their Collector, and gave him a Sallary of 30. pound Sterling for a year.
  2. To use (somebody for a job, or something for a task).
    The burglar employed a jemmy to get in.
    • 1598, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act 1, Scene iii:
      Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you / against the general enemy Ottoman.
    • March 30, 1715, Joseph Addison, The Freeloader No. 29
      This is a day in which the thoughts […] ought to be employed on serious subjects.
  3. To make busy.
    • 1598, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene viii:
      Let it not enter in your mind of love: / Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts / to courtship and such fair ostents of love / as shall conveniently become you there
Synonyms Translations Translations

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