Last modified on 24 May 2014, at 17:04

employ

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle French employer, from Latin implicare (to infold, involve, engage), from in (in) + plicare (to fold). Compare imply and implicate, which are doublets of employ .

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

employ (plural employs)

  1. The state of being an employee; employment.
    The school district has six thousand teachers in its employ.

SynonymsEdit

VerbEdit

employ (third-person singular simple present employs, present participle employing, simple past and past participle employed)

  1. To hire (somebody for work or a job).
    Yesterday our local garage employed a new mechanic.
    • 1668 July 3rd, James Dalrymple, “Thomas Rue contra Andrew Houſtoun” in The Deciſions of the Lords of Council & Seſſion I (Edinburgh, 1683), page 547
      Andrew Houſtoun and Adam Muſhet, being Tackſmen of the Excize, did Imploy Thomas Rue to be their Collector, and gave him a Sallary of 30. pound Sterling for a year.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, The Unknown Ajax:
      Charles had not been employed above six months at Darracott Place, but he was not such a whopstraw as to make the least noise in the performance of his duties when his lordship was out of humour.
  2. To use (somebody for a job, or something for a task).
    The burglar employed a jemmy to get in.
    • 1598, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act 1, Scene iii:
      Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you / against the general enemy Ottoman.
    • Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
      This is a day in which the thoughts [] ought to be employed on serious subjects.
    • 2013 May-June, Charles T. Ambrose, “Alzheimer’s Disease”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 200: 
      Similar studies of rats have employed four different intracranial resorbable, slow sustained release systems—surgical foam, a thermal gel depot, a microcapsule or biodegradable polymer beads.
    • 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, “Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 18: 
      The dispatches […] also exposed the blatant discrepancy between the west's professed values and actual foreign policies. Having lectured the Arab world about democracy for years, its collusion in suppressing freedom was undeniable as protesters were met by weaponry and tear gas made in the west, employed by a military trained by westerners.
  3. To make busy.
    • 1598, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene viii:
      Let it not enter in your mind of love: / Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts / to courtship and such fair ostents of love / as shall conveniently become you there

Derived termsEdit

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