EMPLOY', v.t. [L. plico.]1. To occupy the time, attention and labor of; to keep busy, or at work; to use. We employ our hands in labor; we employ our heads or faculties in study or thought; the attention is employed, when the mind is fixed or occupied upon an object; we employ time, when we devote it to an object. A portion of time should be daily employed in reading the scriptures, meditation and prayer; a great portion of life is employed to little profit or to very bad purposes.2. To use as an instrument or means. We employ pens in writing, and arithmetic in keeping accounts. We employ medicines in curing diseases.3. To use as materials in forming any thing. We employ timber, stones or bricks, in building; we employ wool, linen and cotton, in making cloth.4. To engage in one's service; to use as an agent or substitute in transacting business; to commission and entrust with the management of one's affairs. The president employed an envoy to negotiate a treaty. Kings and States employ embassadors at foreign courts.5. To occupy; to use; to apply or devote to an object; to pass in business; as, to employ time; to employ an hour, a day or a week; to employ one's life.
To employ one's self, is to apply or devote one's time and attention; to busy one's self.