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[pey-rohl] /ˈpeɪˌroʊl/
a list of employees to be paid, with the amount due to each.
the sum total of these amounts.
the actual money on hand for distribution:
The bandits got away with the payroll.
the total number of people employed by a business firm or organization.
verb (used with object)
to fund or subsidize:
to be payrolled by the State Department.
Origin of payroll
1765-75; pay1 + roll Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for payroll
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Gauss, one of the few infant prodigies to become an adult prodigy, corrected his father's payroll at the age of three.

  • I ain't on your payroll and so I can speak out free and independent.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Well, Im serving notice on you right now that Ive got fighting men on my payroll and were going to fight to the end.

  • Khouzhik promptly placed all of them on the payroll of his Management.

    A Slave is a Slave Henry Beam Piper
  • Plodding Chinese and the skilled Japs are numbered by the thousands on the payroll of the Chicago merchant and manufacturer.

British Dictionary definitions for payroll


a list of employees, specifying the salary or wage of each
  1. the total of these amounts or the actual money equivalent
  2. (as modifier): a payroll tax
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for payroll

1740, from pay (v.) + roll (n.); "total amount paid to employees over a period," hence, via records-keeping, "list of employees receiving pay."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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