cottage industry

noun

Definition of cottage industry

1 : an industry whose labor force consists of family units or individuals working at home with their own equipment
2 : a small and often informally organized industry
3 : a limited but enthusiastically pursued activity or subject this debate about sex and law became a cottage industry for feminist academics— Wendy Kaminer

Examples of cottage industry in a Sentence

weaving, pottery, and other cottage industries
Recent Examples on the Web Rigsby has more than a million followers on Instagram, has appeared as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, and his pithy lines—including that one about Britney—have spawned a cottage industry of Etsy stores hawking mugs featuring his quotes. Greg Presto, Men's Health, 18 May 2022 The intense media interest in the trial has spawned a cottage industry of true crime creators and conspiracy theorists pivoting to covering the trial on TikTok. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 30 Apr. 2022 That method, which requires some additional steps, has spawned a cottage industry in and around Tijuana, Mexico. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, 25 Apr. 2022 As muscle car enthusiasts searched for ways to improve the performance and reliability of their vintage machines, a cottage industry of folks adapting late-model powertrain and chassis components soon began to emerge. Bradley Iger, Ars Technica, 22 Apr. 2022 Companies such as Vantage Point and Sisu VR, part of a small cottage industry offering virtual-reality trainings, say these scenarios are a novel offering for employees and freshen up staid corporate trainings. Washington Post, 19 Apr. 2022 Diana alone has become something of a cottage industry for Mr. Conacher. Sarah Ball, WSJ, 27 Mar. 2022 This has turned into a cottage industry to get people angry. Peter Suciu, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 The documents reveal a cottage industry that has sprung up to help people justify decisions to refuse vaccination. Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cottage industry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cottage industry

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About cottage industry

Time Traveler for cottage industry

Time Traveler

The first known use of cottage industry was in 1849

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near cottage industry

cottage hospital

cottage industry

cottage lily

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cottage industry

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cottage industry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cottage%20industry. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on cottage industry

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cottage industry

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!