Often, wages. money that is paid or received for work or services, as by the hour, day, or week. Compare living wage, minimum wage.
Usually, wages. Economics. the share of the products of industry received by labor for its work (as distinct from the share going to capital).
Usually, wages. (used with a singular or plural verb) recompense or return: The wages of sin is death.
Obsolete. a pledge or security.
verb (used with object), waged, waging.
to carry on (a battle, war, conflict, argument, etc.): to wage war against a nation.
Chiefly British Dialect. to hire.
to stake or wager.
to pledge.
verb (used without object), waged, waging.
Obsolete. to contend; struggle.

1275–1325; (noun) Middle English: pledge, security < Anglo-French; Old French guage gage1 < Vulgar Latin *wadium < Germanic (see wed); (v.) Middle English wagen to pledge < Anglo-French wagier; Old French guagier < Vulgar Latin *wadiāre, derivative of *wadium

wageless, adjective
wagelessness, noun
underwage, noun

salary, wages.

1. earnings, emolument, compensation, remuneration. See pay1. 5. undertake, prosecute.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wage (weɪdʒ)
1.  a.  (often plural) Compare salary payment in return for work or services, esp that made to workmen on a daily, hourly, weekly, or piece-work basis
 b.  (as modifier): wage freeze
2.  (plural) economics the portion of the national income accruing to labour as earned income, as contrasted with the unearned income accruing to capital in the form of rent, interest, and dividends
3.  (often plural) recompense, return, or yield
4.  an obsolete word for pledge
5.  to engage in
6.  obsolete to pledge or wager
7.  archaic hire another word for hire
[C14: from Old Northern French wagier to pledge, from wage, of Germanic origin; compare Old English weddian to pledge, wed]

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

c.1300, "a payment for services rendered," also in M.E. "a pledge of security" (1338), from O.N.Fr. wage (O.Fr. guage) "pledge," from Frank. *wadja- (cf. O.E. wedd, Gothic wadi "pledge"); see wed. Mod.Fr. cognate gages (pl.) means "wages of a domestic," one of a plethora of
Fr. words for different classes, e.g. traitement (university professor), paye, salaire (workman), solde (soldier), récompense, prix. The O.E. (and usual Gmc.) word was lean, related to loan (cf. Goth. laun, Du. loon, Ger. lohn)

c.1320, "to pledge, deposit as a pledge," from O.N.Fr. wagier (O.Fr. gagier), from wage (see wage (n.)). Meaning "to carry on" (of war, etc.) is attested from 1456, probably from earlier sense of "to offer as a gage of battle" (c.1430).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


income derived from human labour. Technically, wages and salaries cover all compensation made to employees for either physical or mental work, but they do not represent the income of the self-employed. Labour costs are not identical to wage and salary costs, because total labour costs may include such items as cafeterias or meeting rooms maintained for the convenience of employees. Wages and salaries usually include remuneration such as paid vacations, holidays, and sick leave, as well as fringe benefits and supplements in the form of pensions or health insurance sponsored by the employer. Additional compensation can be paid in the form of bonuses or stock options, many of which are linked to individual or group performance

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The four players were paid a salary instead of an hourly wage.
There should not even be a minimum wage in my opinion.
But wage declines, logically speaking, do not rule out a prosperous life.
Wage increases for employees at almost all income levels are giving important
  and unexpected support to the nation's economy.
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