What does wage mean?

Definitions for wage

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word wage.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. wage, pay, earnings, remuneration, salaryverb

    something that remunerates

    "wages were paid by check"; "he wasted his pay on drink"; "they saved a quarter of all their earnings"

  2. engage, wageverb

    carry on (wars, battles, or campaigns)

    "Napoleon and Hitler waged war against all of Europe"


  1. wagenoun

    An amount of money paid to a worker for a specified quantity of work, usually expressed on an hourly basis.

  2. wageverb

    To wager, bet.

  3. wageverb

    To employ for wages; to hire.

  4. wageverb

    To conduct or carry out (a war or other contest).

    to wage war

  5. Etymology: from wage, a northern variant of gauge, gage, from *waddi, wadja (cognate with wedd), from wadjō, from wadh-. Akin to veþja "to pledge", wadi. More at wed.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Wagenoun

    the plural wages is now only used.

    Etymology: wegen, or wagen, German; gages, Fr.

    All friends shall taste
    The wages of their virtue, and all foes
    The cup of their deservings. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    The last petition is for my men; they are the poorest,
    But poverty could never draw them from me;
    That they may have their wages duly paid them,
    And something over to remember me. William Shakespeare.

    By Tom Thumb, a fairy page;
    He sent it, and doth him engage,
    By promise of a mighty wage,
    It secretly to carry. Michael Drayton, Nymphid.

    The thing itself is not only our duty, but our glory: and he who hath done this work, has, in the very work, partly received his wages. South.

  2. To Wageverb

    Etymology: The origination of this word, which is now only used in the phrase to wage war, is not easily discovered: waegen, in German, is to attempt any thing dangerous.

    We must not think the Turk is so unskilful,
    Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain,
    To wake and wage a danger profitless. William Shakespeare.

    Return to her, and fifty men dismiss’d!
    No; rather I abjure all roofs, and chuse
    To wage against the enmity o’ th’ air,
    To be a comrade with the wolf. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    Your reputation wages war with the enemies of your royal family, even within their trenches. Dryden.

    He ponder’d, which of all his sons was fit
    To reign, and wage immortal war with wit. Dryden.

    Thou must wage
    Thy works for wealth, and life for gold engage. F. Queen.

    I seem’d his follower, not partner; and
    He wag’d me with his countenance, as if
    I had been mercenary. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    The officers of the admiralty having places of so good benefit, it is their parts, being well waged and rewarded, exactly to look into the sound building of ships. Walter Raleigh.

    The king had erected his courts of ordinary resort, and was at the charge not only to wage justice and their ministers, but also to appoint the safe custody of records. Francis Bacon.

    This great lord came not over with any great number of waged soldiers. John Davies, Ireland.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Wageverb

    to pledge; to hazard on the event of a contest; to stake; to bet, to lay; to wager; as, to wage a dollar

  2. Wageverb

    to expose one's self to, as a risk; to incur, as a danger; to venture; to hazard

  3. Wageverb

    to engage in, as a contest, as if by previous gage or pledge; to carry on, as a war

  4. Wageverb

    to adventure, or lay out, for hire or reward; to hire out

  5. Wageverb

    to put upon wages; to hire; to employ; to pay wages to

  6. Wageverb

    to give security for the performance of

  7. Wageverb

    to bind one's self; to engage

  8. Wageverb

    that which is staked or ventured; that for which one incurs risk or danger; prize; gage

  9. Wageverb

    that for which one labors; meed; reward; stipulated payment for service performed; hire; pay; compensation; -- at present generally used in the plural. See Wages

  10. Etymology: [OE. wagen, OF. wagier, gagier, to pledge, promise, F. gager to wager, lay, bet, fr. LL. wadium a pledge; of Teutonic origin; cf. Goth. wadi a pledge, gawadjn to pledge, akin to E. wed, G. wette a wager. See Wed, and cf. Gage.]


  1. Wage

    A wage is remuneration paid by an employer to an employee. It may be calculated as a fixed task based amount, or at an hourly rate, or based on an easily measured quantity of work done. It is contrasted with salaried work, which is based on a fixed time period.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Wage

    wāj, v.t. to pledge: to engage in as if by pledge: to carry on, esp. of war: to venture: (prov.) to hire for pay: (Shak.) to pay wages to: (Spens.) to let out for pay.—v.i. (Shak.) to be equal in value, to contend, battle (with).—n. a gage or stake: that for which one labours: wages.—ns. Wage′-earn′er, one receiving pay for work done; Wage′-fund, Wā′ges-fund theory, the theory that there is at any given time in a country a determinate amount of capital available for the payment of labour, therefore the average wage depends on the proportion of this fund to the number of persons who have to share in it; Wā′ger, that which is waged or pledged: something staked on the issue of anything: a bet: that on which bets are laid: (law) an offer to make oath.—v.t. to hazard on the issue of anything.—v.i. to lay a wager.—n. Wā′gerer.—n.pl. Wā′ges (used as sing.), wage: that which is paid for services.—n. Wage′-work, work done for wages.—Wager of battle, trial by combat, an ancient usage which permitted the accused and accuser, in defect of sufficient direct evidence, to challenge each other to mortal combat, for issue of the dispute.—Living wage (see Living). [O. Fr. wager (Fr. gager), to pledge.]

Editors Contribution

  1. wage

    A fair, just, moderate and specific hourly, daily, weekly or monthly amount of money an employer must pay to an employee for a form of employment agreed in the terms and agreement of an employment contract and the specific details of the employment legislation relating to this type of employment cocreated by a local unity government, regional unity government, national unity government, european unity government or international unity government that is empowered to cocreate this type of legislation.

    The wage that people are paid is an important factor in a society as people choose a fair and just wage to ensure a society where all their bills can be paid and the people can afford to live a moderate lifestyle.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 25, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. WAGE

    What does WAGE stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the WAGE acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. WAGE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Wage is ranked #56310 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Wage surname appeared 363 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Wage.

    86.2% or 313 total occurrences were White.
    9% or 33 total occurrences were Asian.
    1.9% or 7 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.3% or 5 total occurrences were Black.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'wage' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3315

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'wage' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2248

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'wage' in Nouns Frequency: #689

How to pronounce wage?

How to say wage in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of wage in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of wage in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of wage in a Sentence

  1. Eli Wilson:

    This as a very slippery slope, in this context, it opens another can of worms to allow employers to use them as a wage replacement when worker earnings are already not particularly high.

  2. Bill Clinton:

    One of the biggest issues we face is income inequality combined with wage stagnation, they really go hand-in-hand. We don’t have enough good jobs, we don’t have people being placed into those jobs, we don’t have enough social mobility.

  3. Christine Lagarde:

    The key issue going forward will be the pace of normalisation. We agree that it should be gradual as announced, as stressed actually by the Fed, and based on clear evidence of firmer wage or price pressures.

  4. Bill Clinton:

    If he wants to engage in personal attacks from the past, that's his prerogative. You know -- so be it, i'm going to draw distinctions between where I stand and where he stands when it comes to equal pay for women, raising the minimum wage ... protecting a woman's right to make the most personal health care decisions.

  5. David Mericle:

    I think actually what would be really positive from the Fed's view is if labor force participation rises along with a slowdown in wage growth, because then that's really the best way to both expand access to jobs while also keeping inflationary pressures down.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for wage

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"wage." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/wage>.

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    a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease
    • A. omnifarious
    • B. articulate
    • C. occlusive
    • D. epidemic

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