Definition of employ verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    employ

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈplɔɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈplɔɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they employ
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈplɔɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈplɔɪ//
     
    he / she / it employs
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈplɔɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈplɔɪz//
     
    past simple employed
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈplɔɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈplɔɪd//
     
    past participle employed
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈplɔɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈplɔɪd//
     
    -ing form employing
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈplɔɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈplɔɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  to give somebody a job to do for payment employ somebody How many people does the company employ? employ somebody as something For the past three years he has been employed as a firefighter. employ somebody to do something A number of people have been employed to deal with the backlog of work. Wordfinderagent, business, company, competitor, customer, director, employ, franchise, manager, shareholder CollocationsJobsGetting a job look for work look for/​apply for/​go for a job get/​pick up/​complete/​fill out/ (British English) fill in an application (form) send/​email your (British English) CV/(North American English) résumé/application/​application form/​covering letter be called for/​have/​attend an interview offer somebody a job/​work/​employment/​promotion find/​get/​land a job employ/ (especially North American English) hire/​recruit/ (especially British English) take on staff/​workers/​trainees recruit/​appoint a managerDoing a job arrive at/​get to/​leave work/​the office/​the factory start/​finish work/​your shift do/​put in/​work overtime have/​gain/​get/​lack/​need experience/​qualifications do/​get/​have/​receive training learn/​pick up/​improve/​develop (your) skills cope with/​manage/​share/​spread the workload improve your/​achieve a better work-life balance have (no) job satisfaction/​job securityBuilding a career have a job/​work/​a career/​a vocation find/​follow/​pursue/ (especially North American English) live (out) your vocation enter/​go into/​join a profession choose/​embark on/​start/​begin/​pursue a career change jobs/​profession/​career be/ (both especially British English) work/​go freelance do/​take on temp work/​freelance work do/​be engaged in/​be involved in voluntary workLeaving your job leave/ (especially North American English) quit/​resign from your job give up work/​your job/​your career hand in your notice/​resignation plan to/​be due to retire in June/​next year, etc. take early retirement see also self-employed, unemployed Wordfinderapply, appoint, contract, dismiss, employ, job, pay, retire, work, workforce
  2. 2  employ something (formal) to use something such as a skill, method, etc. for a particular purpose He criticized the repressive methods employed by the country's government. The police had to employ force to enter the building.
  3. Word Origin late Middle English (formerly also as imploy): from Old French employer, based on Latin implicari ‘be involved in or attached to’, passive form of implicare, from in- ‘in’ + plicare ‘to fold’. In the 16th and 17th cent. the word also had the senses ‘enfold, entangle’ and ‘imply’, derived directly from Latin; compare with implicate.Extra examples A large part of the workforce is employed in agriculture. By 1960 the arms industry directly employed 3.5 million people. Mark is currently employed as a Professor of Linguistics. Self-checkout terminals are increasingly employed by retailers. Some teachers employ more traditional methods. The army has far more junior officers than it can usefully employ. The safety net is an image commonly employed in everyday life. Those not gainfully employed are dependent on their savings. When properly employed, non-lethal weapons will save lives. Will and Joe were busily employed in clearing out all the furniture. You’d be far better employed taking care of your own affairs. Your time would be better employed doing something else. teaching that actively employs computers in innovative and fruitful ways the tactics employed by the police He criticized the repressive methods employed by the country’s government.Idioms
    be employed in doing something
     
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    if a person or their time is employed in doing something, the person spends time doing that thing She was employed in making a list of all the jobs to be done.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: employ