Legal Dictionary


Definition of employment


    From to employ (itself from from Middle French employer (=modern), from Middle French empleier, from Latin implicare "to enfold, involve, be connected with", itself from in- "in" + plicare "to fold") + -ment



employment (uncountable)

  1. A use, purpose

    I expect you'll put my gift to good employ!

  2. The act of employing

    The personnel director handled the whole employment procedure

  3. The state of being employed

    1853 Melville, Herman 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.

  4. The work or occupation for which one is used, and often paid
  5. An activity to which one devotes time
  6. (economics) The number or percentage of people at work


  • employ
  • hire


  • unemployment
  • underemployment

Related terms

Further reading

Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as: "A person in the service of another under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, where the employer has the power or right to control and direct the employee in the material details of how the work is to be performed." Black's Law Dictionary page 471 (5th ed. 1979).

In a commercial setting, the employer conceives of a productive activity, generally with the intention of generating a profit, and the employee contributes labour to the enterprise, usually in return for payment of wages. Employment also exists in the public, non-profit and household sectors. To the extent that employment or the economic equivalent is not universal, unemployment exists.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     warrant
2.     tampering
3.     emtio
4.     amnesty law
5.     magistrates court
6.     lex fori
7.     landed property
8.     lex situs
9.     lex causae
10.     ownership