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employ verb

1 pay sb to work

ADV. directly, indirectly By 1960 the arms industry in America directly employed 3.5 million people.

PREP. in A large part of the workforce is employed in agriculture.

PHRASES be fully employed 10% of 10?15-year-old girls were fully employed as late as 1911. | be gainfully employed Those not gainfully employed are dependent on their savings. | be permanently/temporarily employed, be regularly/irregularly employed

2 use

ADV. commonly, extensively, frequently, often, widely The safety net is an image commonly employed in everyday life. | generally, usually | actively, deliberately teaching that actively employs computers in innovative and fruitful ways | successfully, usefully

VERB + EMPLOY can/could The army has far more junior officers than it can usefully employ.

3 be employed: be busy doing sth

ADV. better You'd be far better employed taking care of your own affairs. | busily, usefully

PREP. in Will and Joe were busily employed in clearing out all the furniture.