employ

To employ means to use something or hire someone to work. You can employ a saw to cut a board or employ a tutor to teach you math. You can even employ your talents in study and activities.

The Latin source of employ is the word implicāre, which literally means to enfold or be connected with. This ties in with the verb employ, which is transitive and needs a direct object. (You can't just say "I will employ — you have to employ something.) The word also suggests using something for a specific purpose: you can employ someone for a job or find something in which to employ your own interests.

Definitions of employ
1

v put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose

Synonyms:
apply, use, utilise, utilize
apply, practice, use
avail oneself to
Types:
show 52 types...
hide 52 types...
commit, consecrate, dedicate, devote, give
give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause
play
employ in a game or in a specific position
play
use or move
pull out all the stops
use all resources available
assign, put
attribute or give
ply
use diligently
address
address or apply oneself to something, direct one's efforts towards something, such as a question
waste
use inefficiently or inappropriately
misapply, misuse
apply to a wrong thing or person; apply badly or incorrectly
avail
use to one's advantage
overdrive, overuse
make use of too often or too extensively
cannibalise, cannibalize
use parts of something to repair something else
recycle, reprocess, reuse
use again after processing
exploit, work
use or manipulate to one's advantage
exploit, tap
draw from; make good use of
extend, strain
use to the utmost; exert vigorously or to full capacity
exercise, exert
put to use
enjoy
have benefit from
take
travel or go by means of a certain kind of transportation, or a certain route
share
use jointly or in common
put to work, work
cause to work
implement
apply in a manner consistent with its purpose or design
fall back, recur, resort
have recourse to
exercise, work, work out
give a workout to
warm up
cause to do preliminary exercises so as to stretch the muscles
maximise, maximize
make the most of
consecrate, vow
dedicate to a deity by a vow
rededicate
dedicate anew
promote
change a pawn for a better piece by advancing it to the eighth row, or change a checker piece for a more valuable piece by moving it to the row closest to your opponent
repose
put or confide something in a person or thing
rehash
present or use over, with no or few changes
make hay
turn to one's advantage
play
use to one's advantage
harness
exploit the power of
mine
get from the earth by excavation
quarry
extract (something such as stones) from or as if from a quarry
overexploit
exploit excessively
commercialize
exploit for maximal profit, usually by sacrificing quality
milk
exploit as much as possible
overextend, overstrain
strain excessively
task, tax
use to the limit
avail, help
take or use
feed, prey
profit from in an exploitatory manner
computerise, computerize, cybernate
control a function, process, or creation by a computer
reclaim, recover
reuse (materials from waste products)
double up
share a room or a bed designed for only one person
pool
combine into a common fund
communalise, communalize
make something the property of the commune or community
rack
put on a rack and pinion
exploit, overwork
work excessively hard
apply
apply oneself to
use
seek or achieve an end by using to one's advantage

v engage or hire for work

“How many people has she employed?”
Synonyms:
engage, hire
Antonyms:
can, dismiss, displace, fire, force out, give notice, give the axe, give the sack, sack, send away, terminate
terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position
Types:
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
featherbed
hire more workers than are necessary
fill
appoint someone to (a position or a job)
engage
ask to represent; of legal counsel
ship
hire for work on a ship
contract, sign, sign on, sign up
engage by written agreement
rat
employ scabs or strike breakers in
farm out, job, subcontract
arranged for contracted work to be done by others
contract out
assign a job to someone outside one's own business

n the state of being employed or having a job

“he was in the employ of the city”
Synonyms:
employment
Antonyms:
unemployment
the state of being unemployed or not having a job
Type of:
state
the way something is with respect to its main attributes

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.