Meaning of “employ” in the English Dictionary

"employ" in British English

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employverb

uk /ɪmˈplɔɪ/ us /ɪmˈplɔɪ/

employ verb (PROVIDE JOB)

B1 [ T ] to have someone work or do a job for you and pay them for it:

How many people does your company employ?
Can't we employ someone as an assistant to help with all this paperwork?
[ + to infinitive ] We've employed a market researcher to find out what people really want from a cable TV system.
More people are now employed in service industries than in manufacturing.

More examples

  • We need to employ more supervisory staff.
  • The firm employs several freelance editors.
  • The number of people employed by the company has risen from 25 to 200 in three years.
  • They've employed her for a six-month trial period.
  • The problem with employing people who are overqualified for the job is that they often don't stay in it for long.

employnoun

uk /ɪmˈplɔɪ/ us /ɪmˈplɔɪ/ formal

(Definition of “employ” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"employ" in American English

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employverb [ T ]

us /ɪmˈplɔɪ/

employ verb [ T ] (PROVIDE WORK)

to pay someone to work or do a job for you:

The factory employs 87 workers.

employ verb [ T ] (USE)

to use something for a particular purpose:

Jacobs employs this phrase repeatedly.

(Definition of “employ” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"employ" in Business English

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employverb

uk /ɪmˈplɔɪ/ us

HR to have someone work or do a job for you and pay them for it:

The call centre employs over 100 people.
employ sb as sth Mr Reid is employed as a lobbyist by the firm.
employ sb to do sth The fund employs an investment manager to manage its assets.
be employed in sth More than 100 staff currently employed in sales and marketing will lose their jobs.

to use something:

employ sth to do sth The company also employs direct marketing and mail to reach potential customers.
Builders today employ more recycled materials than they used to.
be employed in doing sth formal

to spend time doing something:

We have been employed in updating the catalogue for most of the morning.

employnoun [ U ]

uk /ɪmˈplɔɪ/ us
be in sb's employ also be in the employ of sb formal

to be working for someone:

She has been in the company's employ for twelve years.

(Definition of “employ” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)