- to hire or engage the services of (a person or persons); provide employment for; have or keep in one's service: This factory employs thousands of people.
- to keep busy or at work; engage the attentions of: He employs himself by reading after work.
- to make use of (an instrument, means, etc.); use; apply: to employ a hammer to drive a nail.
- to occupy or devote (time, energies, etc.): I employ my spare time in reading. I employ all my energies in writing.
- employment; service: to be in someone's employ.
Origin of employ
- to engage or make use of the services of (a person) in return for money; hire
- to provide work or occupation for; keep busy; occupycollecting stamps employs a lot of his time
- to use as a meansto employ secret measures to get one's ends
- the state of being employed (esp in the phrase in someone's employ)
Word Origin for employ
early 15c., from Middle French employer, from Old French emploiier (12c.) "make use of, apply; increase; entangle; devote," from Latin implicare "enfold, involve, be connected with," from in- (see in- (2)) + plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)).
Sense of "hire, engage" first recorded in English 1580s, from "involve in a particular purpose," a sense which arose in Late Latin. Related: Employed; employing. The noun is 1660s, from French emploi. Imply, which is the same word, retains more of the original sense.