verb (used with object)
to hire or engage the services of (a person or persons); provide employment for; have or keep in one's service: This factory employs thousands of people.
to keep busy or at work; engage the attentions of: He employs himself by reading after work.
to make use of (an instrument, means, etc.); use; apply: to employ a hammer to drive a nail.
to occupy or devote (time, energies, etc.): I employ my spare time in reading. I employ all my energies in writing.
employment; service: to be in someone's employ.

1425–75; late Middle English employen < Anglo-French, Middle French emploierLatin implicāre to enfold (Late Latin: to engage); see implicate

de-employed, adjective
nonemploying, adjective
overemploy, verb (used with object)
preemploy, verb (used with object)
reemploy, verb (used with object)
well-employed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
employ (ɪmˈplɔɪ)
1.  to engage or make use of the services of (a person) in return for money; hire
2.  to provide work or occupation for; keep busy; occupy: collecting stamps employs a lot of his time
3.  to use as a means: to employ secret measures to get one's ends
4.  the state of being employed (esp in the phrase in someone's employ)
[C15: from Old French emploier, from Latin implicāre to entangle, engage, from plicāre to fold]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Politicians prefer workers to be employed for long periods of time.
And the hunting behavior they employed so long ago has become one of the
  predominant occupations of the animal kingdom.
The problem, and the tragedy, was that proven therapies were not also employed
  from the start.
It is employed today to combat phobias, control bad habits and enhance
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