noun econ·o·my \ i-ˈkä-nə-mē , ə- , ē- \
|Updated on: 5 Aug 2018

Definition of economy

plural economies
1 : the structure or conditions of economic life in a country, area, or period; also : an economic system
2 a : thrifty and efficient use of material resources : frugality in expenditures; also : an instance or a means of economizing : saving
b : efficient and concise use of nonmaterial resources (such as effort, language, or motion)
3 a : the arrangement or mode of operation of something : organization
b : a system especially of interaction and exchange
  • an economy of information
4 archaic : the management of household or private affairs and especially expenses

Examples of economy in a Sentence

  1. The war altered the country's economy.

  2. An increase in tourism will help the city's economy.

  3. We must learn to practice economy.

  4. We'll also benefit from the economies provided by more efficient energy sources.

  5. It would be false economy to repair the leak without replacing the pipe.

Recent Examples of economy from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of economy

Middle French yconomie, from Medieval Latin oeconomia, from Greek oikonomia, from oikonomos household manager, from oikos house + nemein to manage — more at vicinity, nimble




Definition of economy

: designed to save money
  • economy cars

First Known Use of economy


in the meaning defined above

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Financial Definition of ECONOMY


What It Is

In its broadest sense, the economy is the organized system of human activity involved in the production, consumption, exchange, and distribution of goods and services.

How It Works

Derived from the Greek word oikonomos, meaning "one who manages a household," economy was not used in the modern sense of the economic system of a country or area until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Economy also refers to the way in which resources, especially those in shortage, are managed in a competent and appropriate manner.

For example, the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century can probably be considered as the first time in history that goods and services were mass produced for wider consumption.

Why It Matters

Economy is important not only because of its implications for human production and activity, but also because it has engendered one of the most studied of all disciplines: economics.

ECONOMY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of economy for English Language Learners

  • : the process or system by which goods and services are produced, sold, and bought in a country or region

  • : careful use of money, resources, etc.

  • : something that makes it possible for you to spend less money


Definition of economy for English Language Learners

  • : designed to cost less money

ECONOMY Defined for Kids


noun econ·o·my \ i-ˈkä-nə-mē \

Definition of economy for Students

plural economies
1 : the way in which goods and services are made, sold, and used in a country or area
  • the city's economy
2 : the careful use of money and goods : thrift With economy and restraint, they managed to live on their small income.

Medical Dictionary


noun econ·o·my \ i-ˈkän-ə-mē \

medical Definition of economy

plural economies
1 : the system of operation of the processes of anabolism and catabolism in living bodies
  • the economy of the cell
2 : the body of an animal or plant as an organized whole
  • disorganizing wide segments of the body economy
  • —Leonard Engel

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having an air of easy unconcern

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