What could be simpler than to remember that income basically refers to money that "comes in," or is earned. Your income is the money you make in a given time period, for example weekly, monthly, or annually.

Your income might come from many sources — salary, investments, interest or annuities. Today income is used as a noun, but the Old English word incuman was first a verb that meant "to come in," and referred to the money earned through one's labor or business dealings. The first income tax was attempted in Britain in 1404, but was so unpopular it was ended. In the United States, the Federal Income Tax became law in 1913, and, unfortunately, is still in effect.

Definitions of income
  1. noun
    the financial gain (earned or unearned) accruing over a given period of time
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    expenditure, expense, outgo, outlay, spending
    money paid out; an amount spent
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    disposable income
    income (after taxes) that is available to you for saving or spending
    double dipping
    two incomes received from the same source (as by holding a government job and receiving a government pension)
    easy money, gravy train
    income obtained with a minimum of effort
    EBITDA, Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization
    income before interest and taxes and depreciation and amortization have been subtracted; an indicator of a company's profitability that is watched by investors (especially in leveraged buyouts)
    earnings, lucre, net, net income, net profit, profit, profits
    the excess of revenues over outlays in a given period of time (including depreciation and other non-cash expenses)
    cash flow
    the excess of cash revenues over cash outlays in a give period of time (not including non-cash expenses)
    personal income
    the income received by a single individual
    rental income
    income received from rental properties
    issue, payoff, proceeds, return, take, takings, yield
    the income or profit arising from such transactions as the sale of land or other property
    gross revenue, gross sales, sales
    income (at invoice values) received for goods and services over some given period of time
    net sales
    gross sales reduced by customer discounts, returns, freight out, and allowances
    unearned income, unearned revenue
    (accounting) income received but not yet earned (usually considered a current liability on a company's balance sheet)
    unearned income, unearned revenue
    personal income that you did not earn (e.g., dividends or interest or rent income)
    government income, government revenue
    income available to the government
    per capita income
    the total national income divided by the number of people in the nation
    earning per share
    the portion of a company's profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock
    windfall profit
    profit that occurs unexpectedly as a consequence of some event not controlled by those who profit from it
    cleanup, killing
    a very large profit
    fast buck, quick buck
    quick or easy earnings, "they are traders out to make a fast buck"
    filthy lucre
    shameful profit
    gross profit, gross profit margin, margin
    (finance) the net sales minus the cost of goods and services sold
    revenue, tax income, tax revenue, taxation
    government income due to taxation
    poverty level, poverty line
    a level of personal income defining the state of poverty
    economic rent, rent
    the return derived from cultivated land in excess of that derived from the poorest land cultivated under similar conditions
    financial return or reward (especially returns equal to the initial investment)
    the amount added to the cost to determine the asking price
    (finance) profits that are not paid out as dividends but are added to the capital base of the corporation
    that part of the earnings of a corporation that is distributed to its shareholders; usually paid quarterly
    type of:
    financial gain
    the amount of monetary gain
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