The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Employ \Em*ploy"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Employed; p. pr. & vb.
n. Employing.] [F. employer, fr. L. implicare to fold into,
infold, involve, implicate, engage; in + plicare to fold. See
Ply, and cf. Imply, Implicate.]
1. To inclose; to infold. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
2. To use; to have in service; to cause to be engaged in
doing something; -- often followed by in, about, on, or
upon, and sometimes by to; as:
(a) To make use of, as an instrument, a means, a material,
etc., for a specific purpose; to apply; as, to employ
the pen in writing, bricks in building, words and
phrases in speaking; to employ the mind; to employ
This is a day in which the thoughts . . . ought
to be employed on serious subjects. --Addison.
(b) To occupy; as, to employ time in study.
(c) To have or keep at work; to give employment or
occupation to; to intrust with some duty or behest;
as, to employ a hundred workmen; to employ an envoy.
Jonathan . . . and Jahaziah . . . were employed
about this matter. --Ezra x. 15.
Thy vineyard must employ the sturdy steer
To turn the glebe. --Dryden.
To employ one's self, to apply or devote one's time and
attention; to busy one's self.
Syn: To use; busy; apply; exercise; occupy; engross; engage.