ex·​ter·​nal·​i·​ty | \ ˌek-ˌstər-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce externality (audio) \
plural externalities

Definition of externality

1 : the quality or state of being external or externalized
2 : something that is external
3 : a secondary or unintended consequence pollution and other externalities of manufacturing

Examples of externality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The before and after that comes into such stark relief, thanks to an externality like war. Andy Meek, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 This is irrespective of whether such projects are cash-flow generating or create a public good that does not yield financial returns but generates a positive externality. Shreyans Jain, Quartz, 7 Mar. 2022 Such a tax would dissuade people from burning fossil fuels by taxing them for the damage those emissions cause – the negative externality. Jim Krane, The Conversation, 12 Feb. 2022 Amazon Prime, with its more than 100 million members, is a classic beneficiary of a network externality. Joe Lonsdale, WSJ, 7 Feb. 2022 That argument starts by asserting that these policies are the best means of preventing the negative externality of some people inflicting harm on innocent third parties. WSJ, 13 Jan. 2022 Another is that the poor are a negative externality of the creative destruction of capitalism. Damon Linker, The Week, 7 Jan. 2022 Thus, Singaporeans are asking why they are being held hostage by a minority, whose choice is placing a huge externality on the rest of the nation. Devadas Krishnadas, Fortune, 28 Oct. 2021 For hydrogen to be low carbon, the negative CO2 externality must be abated, which pushes the production technology options away from grey and brown, which represent the dominant production technology deployed today, to other options. Baker Institute, Forbes, 22 Sep. 2021 See More

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

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of externality was in 1673

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Cite this Entry

“Externality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/externality. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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