eco·​nom·​ics | \ˌe-kə-ˈnä-miks, ˌē-kə- \

Definition of economics 

1a : a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services

b : economic theory, principles, or practices sound economics

2 : economic aspect or significance the economics of building a new stadium

3 : economic conditions current economics

Examples of economics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Suresh Naidu is associate professor of economics and public affairs at Columbia University, and a contributor to the CORE project. Suresh Naidu, Eric Posner, Vox, "More and more companies have monopoly power over workers’ wages. That’s killing the economy.," 6 Apr. 2018 Both sisters would graduate from Susquehanna University — Jacklyn with a degree in theater; Cassie in economics. Diane Mastrull,, "No batteries required: These entrepreneurs are banking on a market for no-tech fun," 28 June 2018 Research by Daniel Hamermesh at Royal Holloway, University of London, finds the share of economics papers in leading journals focused on pure theory fell from 58% in 1983 to 19% in 2011. The Economist, "Government data are ever more important to economic research," 26 May 2018 Justin Bloesch, an economics graduate student at Harvard, isn’t worried about that. Washington Post, "Despite setbacks and high court’s ruling, unions show spark," 28 June 2018 In fact, McWhorter started out in Georgia as a home economics teacher. Alyson Ward, Houston Chronicle, "Mildred McWhorter, Houston’s ‘Mother Teresa,’ founder of city missions, dies at 87," 21 June 2018 Still, the document shows that nationalists are taking an altogether more sensible approach to economics. The Economist, "Scottish nationalists face up to the economic challenges of independence," 7 June 2018 That dedicated energy investors are now echoing the arguments of the ESG movement should motivate the latter to crack open an economics textbook. Paul H. Tice, WSJ, "Fossil-Fuel Divestment Is Futile," 29 May 2018 The school district will actively search for a replacement for Kalb, who worked as an AP government and economics teacher and pep club advisor before adding athletic director to her growing list of titles. Sara Cardine,, "New administrators named at PCY, La Cañada High School as part of larger district reorganization," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'economics.' 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 economics

1792, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

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The first known use of economics was in 1792

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Financial Definition of economics

What It Is

Economics is the academic study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

How It Works

Economics can be broken down into two main disciplines: macroeconomics and microeconomics. Macroeconomics deals with the behavior of economies on a large scale, usually the economies of countries or regions. Microeconomics, on the other hand, usually addresses individual agents.

There are two main approaches taken by economists: Classical and Keynesian. Classical economics is based on the idea that, in general, market economies can function competently, are able to react to changes in equilibrium, and that governments should adopt a "laissez faire" policy toward the economy.

Keynesian economics, first proposed by the English economist John Maynard Keynes, is predicated on the notion that markets tend to react rather slowly to changes in equilibrium (especially price changes), and that active intervention by governments is often the best way to help an economy recover its equilibrium. In the twentieth century, Keynesian economics has become, by and large, the standard approach to dealing with large scale economies.

Why It Matters

The study of economics has spawned numerous theories about the nature of human production and consumption including: Marxist theories of production, the Chicago School, which advocates free market and monetarist approaches, and the Austrian School, whose approach is underscored by the emphasis on stock market price mechanisms.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of economics

: a science concerned with the process or system by which goods and services are produced, sold, and bought

: the part of something that relates to money


noun plural
eco·​nom·​ics | \ˌe-kə-ˈnä-miks, ˌē-\

Kids Definition of economics

: the science concerned with the making, selling, and using of goods and services

Hint: Economics can be used as a singular or a plural in writing and speaking.

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Comments on economics

What made you want to look up economics? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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