ex·​ter·​nal·​i·​ty ˌek-ˌstər-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce externality (audio)
plural externalities
: the quality or state of being external or externalized
: something that is external
: a secondary or unintended consequence
pollution and other externalities of manufacturing

Examples of externality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Perhaps activists could get the market to price that externality in by nudging investors to divest. Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic, 13 Oct. 2023 One solution is to emphasize macroeconomics by internalizing the externality of carbon. Nora Lovell Marchant, Fortune, 15 Sep. 2023 Beyond disagreement over current values, humans have historically not been very good at predicting the future externalities of new technologies. Time, 20 July 2023 Sometimes, though, externalities like a changing climate fast-track technologies that have been languishing in development for decades. IEEE Spectrum, 1 Jan. 2023 The game structure and payoffs are determined by market structure, and so students are taught what strategies are feasible in industries that are perfectly competitive versus industries marked by market power, externalities, or other market imperfections. Foreign Affairs, 19 Aug. 2022 Other major issues, such as aggregating humanity’s different value systems, limiting unforeseen externalities, and many more, will also need to be addressed. Time, 20 July 2023 Xi has tried to rein in these negative externalities by imposing additional performance measures on local cadres. Jeremy L. Wallace, Foreign Affairs, 20 Dec. 2022 Ever more powerful technology has the potential to create ever larger externalities. Time, 20 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'externality.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of externality was in 1673

Dictionary Entries Near externality

Cite this Entry

“Externality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/externality. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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