[ em-ploi-er ]
/ ɛmˈplɔɪ ər /
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See synonyms for: employer / employers on Thesaurus.com

a person or business that employs one or more people, especially for wages or salary: a fair employer.
a person or thing that makes use of or occupies someone or something: an inadequate employer of one's time.
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Origin of employer

First recorded in 1590–1600; employ + -er1


pre·em·ploy·er, nounpro·em·ploy·er, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does employer mean?

An employer is a person, company, or organization that employs people—pays them for work.

The people who are paid to work are called employees. Employers provide employment.

Less commonly, employer can mean something that occupies someone or someone that uses something (the word employ can also mean to use), as in Be a good employer of your time. 

Example: If the factory closes, thousands of people will lose their jobs—it’s the largest employer in the county.

Where does employer come from?

The first records of the word employer come from right around 1600. The base word, employ, ultimately derives from the Latin implicāre, meaning “to engage.” The word employee came later, with the suffix -ee indicating a person who is the object or beneficiary of employment.

While employees are often seen as the ones getting this benefit—and the benefits that sometimes come with it, such as health insurance—the employee-employer relationship is based on an exchange. The employer exchanges money for work done. This exchange is often formalized through some kind of contract or employment agreement, and both employee and employer are often used in the context of official situations like this. Typically, a person must have an employer to be considered an employee.

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What are some other forms related to employer?

What are some words that share a root or word element with employer

What are some words that often get used in discussing employer?


How is employer used in real life?

Regardless of how people think about their employer, the word itself is used in a neutral way.



Try using employer!

Which of the following people has an employer?

A. a paid staff member
B. an unemployed person
C. a self-employed person
D. a volunteer

How to use employer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for employer

/ (ɪmˈplɔɪə) /

a person, business, firm, etc, that employs workers
a person who employs; user
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012