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

No individual media figure has embraced this basketball social media cottage industry than Rob Perez, more commonly known by his Twitter handle, @World_Wide_Wob. Kirk A. Bado, azcentral, "NBA Summer League bets on importance of engaging off the court," 11 July 2018 And the mustache just turned into this cottage industry. Kathryn Shattuck, New York Times, "Thomas Haden Church Is Keeping That Mustache," 5 Jan. 2018 Projecting the future of embattled Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard has become a cottage industry in NBA circles. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs’ possible draft targets include former Texas Tech guard," 11 May 2018 As e-commerce became commonplace, a cottage industry sprang up to track people around the web and nudge them back to online stores to complete a purchase. Adam Satariano, New York Times, "What Europe’s Tough New Data Law Means for You, and the Internet," 6 May 2018 The analytical, data-driven paleobiology pioneered by my father has now become a cottage industry. David Sepkoski, The Atlantic, "19th-Century Paleontology Was at the Forefront of Big Data," 14 Feb. 2018 Its human-curated playlists such as Rap Caviar can turn songs into gold and a cottage industry has sprung to directly or indirectly get songs onto popular playlists (there are thousands of them)., "Stories worth watching: Flying taxi, 5G and the new payola," 14 Mar. 2018 Ries and his teachings have been valuable to numerous companies—P&G and ING have had promising successes—and his work is an inspiration to a veritable cottage industry of innovation consultants. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Famed 'Pivot' Strategy of Startups May Not Work For GE," 26 Feb. 2018 That has created a cottage industry of online companies that help people establish their pet as an emotional support animal. David Koenig,, "Delta requiring more information on animals before they fly," 19 Jan. 2018

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

1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for cottage industry

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for cottage industry

The first known use of cottage industry was in 1921

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on cottage industry Encyclopedia article about cottage industry

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an open space surrounded by woods

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