• synonyms


  1. an act or instance of employing someone or something.
  2. the state of being employed; employ; service: to begin or terminate employment.
  3. an occupation by which a person earns a living; work; business.
  4. the total number of people gainfully employed or working.
  5. an activity or the like that occupies a person's time: She found knitting a comforting employment for her idle hours.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for re-employment

Historical Examples

  • But Serena, too, refused to consider Mr. Hapgood's re-employment.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Commissioner Kernan: "What were the conditions of your re-employment with the company?"

  • That engineers, firemen and switchmen would be treated alike in the matter of re-employment.

  • Labor unions are justified in insisting upon the re-employment of members discharged for a cause which they deem unjust.

    Public Speaking

    Clarence Stratton

  • Another circumstance in the last year of his command revived his hopes of re-employment.

    General Gatacre

    Beatrix Gatacre

British Dictionary definitions for re-employment


  1. the act or an instance of employing or being employed again
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  1. the act of employing or state of being employed
  2. the work or occupation in which a person is employed
  3. the purpose for which something is used
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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 re-employment



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper