[ em-ploi-muhnt ]
/ ɛmˈplɔɪ mənt /


an act or instance of employing someone or something.
the state of being employed; employ; service: to begin or terminate employment.
an occupation by which a person earns a living; work; business.
the total number of people gainfully employed or working.
an activity or the like that occupies a person's time: She found knitting a comforting employment for her idle hours.

Nearby words

  1. employe,
  2. employee,
  3. employee association,
  4. employer,
  5. employers' association,
  6. employment agency,
  7. employment bureau,
  8. employment equity,
  9. employment exchange,
  10. employment office

Origin of employment

First recorded in 1585–95; employ + -ment

Related formsnon·em·ploy·ment, nouno·ver·em·ploy·ment, nounpro·em·ploy·ment, adjectivere·em·ploy·ment, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for employment

British Dictionary definitions for employment


/ (ɪmˈplɔɪmənt) /


the act of employing or state of being employed
the work or occupation in which a person is employed
the purpose for which something is used
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

Word Origin and History for employment



mid-15c., from Middle English emploien (see employ) + -ment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper