earn earn [ɜːn ǁ ɜːrn] verb
1. [intransitive, transitive] to be paid money for the work you do:

• The managing director's personal assistant earned £35,000 last year.

• She earns a very respectable wage.

• Some young people want to start earning as soon as possible.

word focus - earn
The money that you earn
Pay is the money that you earn by working:

• “What’s the pay?” “About $30 an hour.”

A salary is the money that someone is paid every month by their employer, especially someone who is in a profession, such as a teacher, office worker, or manager:

• The university provides a salary of $3000 a month plus benefits.

A wage is the money that someone is paid every week by their employer, especially someone who works in a factory, shop etc:

• She earns an hourly wage of $11.

Income is all the money that you receive regularly for work:

• His annual income is just over $40,000.

Earnings is the total amount of money you earn from the job that you do:

• The average worker’s earnings have not kept up with inflation.

A fee is money that you pay to a professional person, such as a doctor or a lawyer, for work that they do:

• Last year the company paid $12 million in legal fees to a single law firm.

Remuneration is a formal word for payment for work, especially in the form of a salary and additional benefits such as a car:

• We are offering an attractive remuneration package, including a company car and other benefits.

2. [transitive] if an investment earns money, it makes a profit:

• If a bond is not redeemed at maturity, it continues to earn interest.

3. earn a/​your living to earn the money that you need to live:

• It's impossible to earn a decent living in this country.

— see also save as you earn

* * *

earn UK US /ɜːn/ verb
[I or T] to receive money as payment for work that you do: »

How much do you earn?


When I started earning, I decided to open a savings account.

earn a salary/a wage/an income »

A typical manager will earn a salary of at least $69,000.


Brokers earn commission on each sale.

earn sb sth »

She turned down an advert that would have earned her £1 million.

[T] to make a particular amount of money from a product or business activity: »

His last three films have earned more than $437 million worldwide.


In 1994, BBA earned pretax profit of 84.3 million pounds.

earn sth from sth »

The region earns billions of dollars from tourism.

[T] to get an amount of money as profit or interest on an investment or loan: »

You can buy and sell these unit trusts when you choose, and you earn dividends.


Any spare cash is best put in a savings account where it will earn interest.


Local governments use the fund as a money-market account to earn interest on surplus cash.

[T] to collect a reward for doing business with a particular company or for a particular activity. You can use these rewards to buy goods or get some other advantage: »

Apply now to start earning loyalty points


Organizations can earn carbon credits by registering an energy saving project.

earn a living — Cf. earn a living

Financial and business terms. 2012.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • earn — W2S2 [ə:n US ə:rn] v ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(money for work)¦ 2¦(profit)¦ 3¦(something deserved)¦ 4 earn your/its keep ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [: Old English; Origin: earnian] 1.) ¦(MONEY FOR WORK)¦ [I and T] to receive a particular amount of money for the work that you do ▪ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • earn — [ ɜrn ] verb *** 1. ) intransitive or transitive to receive money for work that you do: She doesn t earn much money, but she enjoys the work. Most people here earn about $60,000 a year. His illness has affected his ability to earn. a ) transitive …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Earn — ([ e]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Earned} ([ e]rnd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Earning}.] [AS. earnian; akin to OHG. arn[=o]n to reap, aran harvest, G. ernte, Goth. asans harvest, asneis hireling, AS. esne; cf. Icel. [ o]nn working season, work.] 1. To merit …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • earn — earn·er; earn·ful; earn·ing; earn; …   English syllables

  • Earn — Earn, v. i. [See 4th {Yearn}.] To long; to yearn. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] And ever as he rode, his heart did earn To prove his puissance in battle brave. Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • earn — I verb achieve, achieve by continued effort, acquire by service, attain, be deserving, be entitled to, be successful, be worthy, clear, deserve, gain, gain by labor, gain by service, get a profit, get by effort, have a right to, merere, merit,… …   Law dictionary

  • Earn — ([ e]rn), n. (Zo[ o]l.) See {Ern}, n. Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Earn — ([ e]rn), v. t. & i. [See 1st {Yearn}.] To grieve. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Earn — Earn, v. i. [AS. irnan to run. [root]11. See {Rennet}, and cf. {Yearnings}.] To curdle, as milk. [Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • EARN — bezeichnet: einen Fluss in Schottland, siehe Earn (Fluss) die Abkürzung für das European Academic Research Network Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit …   Deutsch Wikipedia