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See more synonyms for income on Thesaurus.com
  1. the monetary payment received for goods or services, or from other sources, as rents or investments.
  2. something that comes in as an addition or increase, especially by chance.
  3. Archaic. a coming in.
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Origin of income

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
Related formsin·come·less, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for income

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Every rational luxury is to be procured in England by such an income.

  • "It is very disagreeable when one's income becomes a burden," said Christine gravely.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The income of their uncle, the canon, was hardly sufficient for the family's needs.

  • An elderly spinster; boarders are her distraction as well as a source of income.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • But, as I said before, a disaster happened, and there must then have been a falling off in the income.

British Dictionary definitions for income


  1. the amount of monetary or other returns, either earned or unearned, accruing over a given period of time
  2. receipts; revenue
  3. rare an inflow or influx
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for income


c.1300, "entrance, arrival," literally "what enters," perhaps a noun use of the late Old English verb incuman "come in," from in (adv.) + cuman "to come" (see come). Meaning "money made through business or labor" (i.e., "that which 'comes in' as a product of work or business") first recorded c.1600. Income tax is from 1799, first introduced in Britain as a war tax, re-introduced 1842; authorized on a national level in U.S. in 1913.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

income in Culture


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.

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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.