1. A regular payment, usually on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, made by an employer to an employee, especially for manual or unskilled work.
2. wages The price of labor in an economy.
3. often wages (used with a sing. or pl. verb) A fitting return; a recompense: the wages of sin.
tr.v. waged, wag·ing, wag·es
To engage in (a war or campaign, for example).
[Middle English, from Old North French, of Germanic origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.