from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A wage sufficient to provide minimally satisfactory living conditions. Also called minimum wage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A wage or salary that permits a worker to live at least with minimal customary amenities, and above conditions of poverty.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A wage on which it is possible for a wage-earner to live.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a wage sufficient for a worker and family to subsist comfortably


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The stories in the Sunday papers about beggars who die with two thousand pounds sewn into their trousers are, of course, lies; but the better-class beggars do have runs of luck, when they earn a living wage for weeks at a time.

    Down and Out in Paris and London

  • They liked men fresh from the border, not a forty-plus-year-old man who’d worked most of his life in a restaurant but whose opportunities for a living wage had vanished, undercut by busboys pooled from the very men I now jostled alongside.

    The Madonnas of Echo Park


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