employ vs employment what difference

what is difference between employ and employment


Alternative forms

  • imploy (obsolete)


Borrowed 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 .


  • IPA(key): /ɪmˈplɔɪ/, /ɛmˈplɔɪ/
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪ


employ (plural employs)

  1. The state of being an employee; employment.
  2. (obsolete) The act of employing someone or making use of something; employment.


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).
    • 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.
  2. To use (somebody for a job, or something for a task).
    Synonyms: apply, use, utilize
  3. To make busy.

Derived terms


Further reading

  • employ in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • employ in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • employ at OneLook Dictionary Search


  • polemy



From employ (itself from Middle French employer, from Middle French empleier, from Latin implicō (enfold, involve, be connected with), itself from in- + plicō (fold)) +‎ -ment


  • IPA(key): /ɪmˈplɔɪmənt/, /ɛmˈplɔɪmənt/


employment (countable and uncountable, plural employments)

  1. The work or occupation for which one is used, and often paid
  2. The act of employing
  3. A use, purpose
    The personnel director handled the whole employment procedure
  4. The state of being employed
    • 1853, Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener, in Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Stories, New York: Penguin Books, 1968; reprint 1995 as Bartleby, ISBN 0 14 60.0012 9, p.3:
      At the period just preceding the advent of Bartleby, I had two persons as copyists in my employment, and a promising lad as an office-boy.
  5. An activity to which one devotes time
  6. (economics) The number or percentage of people at work


  • employ
  • hire


  • unemployment
  • underemployment

Related terms


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