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employ (v.)

early 15c., "apply or devote (something to some purpose); expend or spend," from Old French emploiier (12c.) "make use of, apply; increase; entangle; devote," from Latin implicare "enfold, involve, be connected with, unite, associate," from assimilated form of in- (from PIE root *en "in") + plicare "to fold" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait").

Imply, which is the same word, retains more of the original sense. Sense of "hire, engage" first recorded in English 1580s, from meaning "involve in a particular purpose," which arose in Late Latin. Related: Employed; employing; employable.

employ (n.)

1660s, "action of employing," from French emploi, from verb employer (see employ (v.)). From 1709 as "state of being employed."

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Definitions of employ from WordNet
1
employ (v.)
put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose;
Synonyms: use / utilize / utilise / apply
employ (v.)
engage or hire for work;
How many people has she employed?
Synonyms: hire / engage
2
employ (n.)
the state of being employed or having a job;
he was in the employ of the city
Synonyms: employment
From wordnet.princeton.edu