[ in-kuhm ]
See synonyms for income on
  1. revenue received for goods or services, or from other sources, as rents or investments: For years, her only source of income was the small number of stocks her father left her.

  2. the money, or amount of money, received from one’s employment: a household with three incomes;a healthcare worker with an income that hasn’t increased in five years.

  1. something that comes in as an addition or increase, especially by chance.

  2. Archaic. a coming in.

Origin of income

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English: literally, “that which has come in,” noun use of incomen (past participle of incomen “to come in”), Old English incuman; see in, come

Other words for income

Opposites for income

Other words from income

  • in·come·less, adjective

Words Nearby income Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use income in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for income


/ (ˈɪnkʌm, ˈɪnkəm) /

  1. the amount of monetary or other returns, either earned or unearned, accruing over a given period of time

  2. receipts; revenue

  1. rare an inflow or influx

Origin of income

C13 (in the sense: arrival, entrance): from Old English incumen a coming in

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

Cultural definitions for income


The amount of money received during a period of time in exchange for labor or services, from the sale of goods or property, or as a profit from financial investments.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.