- Often wages. money that is paid or received for work or services, as by the hour, day, or week.Compare living wage, minimum wage.
- Usually wages. Economics. the share of the products of industry received by labor for its work (as distinct from the share going to capital).
- Usually wages. (used with a singular or plural verb) recompense or return: The wages of sin is death.
- Obsolete. a pledge or security.
- to carry on (a battle, war, conflict, argument, etc.): to wage war against a nation.
- Chiefly British Dialect. to hire.
- to stake or wager.
- to pledge.
- Obsolete. to contend; struggle.
Origin of wage
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for wage
The wage structure of waiting tables is a sexual-harassment machine.Why Your Waiter Hates You
October 26, 2014
Not only do dancers not get an hourly wage, they are usually forced to pay ‘stage fees’ to work each shift.Oregon’s Stripper Lobby: Legislators Ask Exotic Dancers for Help With Strip Club Bill
Mary Emily O’Hara
October 6, 2014
In Scotland, hourly wage inequality matches the rest of the United Kingdom once the skew of London is factored out.Scotland’s ‘Yes’ Campaign and the Myth of Scottish Equality
September 18, 2014
It is time to wage campaigns based on competing ideas, values, and proposals.Angry About Ferguson? Oppose Voter ID Laws
August 26, 2014
The wage gave Clara and her women friends a measure of independence—on a day off they could pretty much do as they liked.The Tragic, Heroic Women of World War I
June 29, 2014
To be sure, the wage was infinitesimal, while the toil was body-breaking soul-breaking.Within the Law
Of course, very few of the other immigrants get such a wage as that.Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2)
William Delisle Hay
They asked for a wage, a bunk, and grub; nothing else mattered.The Night Riders
Ey, another fortnight—trusting to get their wage afore that, please God.A Son of Hagar
Sir Hall Caine
Where is the warrior, stout of heart and strong of will, who can wage war with cold and hunger?Cyropaedia
- (often plural)payment in return for work or services, esp that made to workmen on a daily, hourly, weekly, or piece-work basisCompare salary
- (as modifier)wage freeze
- (plural) economics the portion of the national income accruing to labour as earned income, as contrasted with the unearned income accruing to capital in the form of rent, interest, and dividends
- (often plural) recompense, return, or yield
- an obsolete word for pledge
Word Origin and History for wage
c.1300, "a payment for services rendered," also in Middle English "a pledge of security" (mid-14c.), from Old North French wage (Old French guage) "pledge," from Frankish *wadja- (cf. Old English wedd, Gothic wadi "pledge"); see wed. Modern French cognate gages (plural) means "wages of a domestic," one of a plethora of French words for different classes, e.g. traitement (university professor), paye, salaire (workman), solde (soldier), récompense, prix. The Old English word was lean, related to loan and representing the usual Germanic form (cf. Gothic laun, Dutch loon, German lohn).
early 14c., "to pledge, deposit as a pledge," from Old North French wagier (Old French gagier), from wage (see wage (n.)). Meaning "to carry on" (of war, etc.) is attested from mid-15c., probably from earlier sense of "to offer as a gage of battle" (early 15c.). Related: Waged; waging.