cottage industry


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 Much of Flash’s use in recent years has been by the cottage industry of websites such as Kongregate, Armor Games and Addicting Games that churn out bright, simple web browser games. NBC News, "Goodbye, Flash: The web application everybody used — and hated," 31 Dec. 2020 On the one hand, this huge cottage industry was how Nizar found out about the Spinosaurus fossil in the first place. National Geographic, "Episode 5: The Strange Tail of Spinosaurus," 24 Nov. 2020 Sad to say, a cottage industry feeds off the concept of intergenerational warfare. Chris Farrell, Star Tribune, "Planning a move later in life? Find a neighborhood that bridges generations," 7 Nov. 2020 Although Christie was only missing 11 days (she was discovered at a Yorkshire spa), and nearly 100 years have passed without a credible explanation, a cottage industry of conjecture continues to grow. Washington Post, "Where did Agatha Christie go when she disappeared in 1926? Here’s one theory.," 29 Dec. 2020 The Netflix docuseries shook viewers to their very cores and, as such, spawned an entire cottage industry of Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin memes. Andrea Park, Marie Claire, "The 26 Best Memes of 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 This recent addition to the Anchorage sweets scene started out as a cottage industry by two women who wanted to empower other moms staying at home to homeschool their kids during the pandemic. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, "We asked Alaska foodies for local-centric gift ideas. Here are dozens of their favorites.," 17 Dec. 2020 Grayscale has carved out a fabulous cottage industry by creating ETF-like products that let investors gain exposure to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through the stock market. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "$20,000 Bitcoin caps Grayscale’s incredible year," 16 Dec. 2020 But the modern genesis of this cottage industry dates back more than a decade to a scandal known simply as Toiletgate. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Real Queen’s Gambit: Catching Chess Cheaters," 9 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of cottage industry

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for cottage industry

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The first known use of cottage industry was in 1849

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Statistics for cottage industry

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cottage industry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cottage industry

cottage industry


English Language Learners Definition of cottage industry

: a system for making products to sell in which people work in their own homes and use their own equipment

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