[ pey-rohl ]
/ ˈpeɪˌroʊl /


a list of employees to be paid, with the amount due to each.
the sum total of these amounts.
the actual money on hand for distribution: The bandits got away with the payroll.
the total number of people employed by a business firm or organization.

verb (used with object)

to fund or subsidize: to be payrolled by the State Department.

Nearby words

  1. payout ratio,
  2. paypal,
  3. paypass,
  4. payphone,
  5. payr's sign,
  6. payroll tax,
  7. payroller,
  8. pays de la loire,
  9. paysandú,
  10. paystub

Origin of payroll

First recorded in 1765–75; pay1 + roll Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for payroll

British Dictionary definitions for payroll


/ (ˈpeɪˌrəʊl) /


a list of employees, specifying the salary or wage of each
  1. the total of these amounts or the actual money equivalent
  2. (as modifier)a payroll tax
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 payroll



1740, from pay (v.) + roll (n.); "total amount paid to employees over a period," hence, via records-keeping, "list of employees receiving pay."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper