mid-15c., from M.Fr. employer
, from O.Fr. empleier
, from L. implicare
"enfold, involve, be connected with," from in-
"in" + plicare
"to fold" see ply
(v.)). Sense of "hire, engage" first recorded in English 1580s, from "involve in a particular purpose." Imply
, which is the same word, retains more of the original sense.