Definition of home economics

: a subject or class that teaches skills (such as cooking or sewing) which are useful in the home Classes in the family and consumer sciences—no one calls it home economics anymore—have changed too, stressing the entrepreneurial over the domestic …— Bonnie Miller Rubin If you passed seventh-grade home economics, you can probably sew a few basic nursery accessories.— Deeanne Gist

called also home ec

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Other Words from home economics

home economist noun

Examples of home economics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1921, the young painter enrolled at Howard University as a home economics student. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 July 2021 Dreilinger pays considerable attention to the contributions that African American women have made to home economics, even as they were kept out of mainstream White organizations well into the 1960s. Washington Post, 18 June 2021 In the 1960s and 1970s, home economics, like so much of America, began turning toward a therapeutic approach to the home. Katherine A. Powers Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 7 May 2021 During its run, the At Home section in this paper was a weekly reminder of the relevance of home economics. New York Times, 25 June 2021 Many of the profession’s early theorists thought that home economics should be linked to progressive social causes. Washington Post, 18 June 2021 Chemist Ellen Swallow Richards, one of the founders of home economics, was the first woman to attend MIT and, in the 1870s, became the university’s first female instructor. Barbara Spindel, WSJ, 2 May 2021 Charles Joseph Lewis was born in Bozeman, Mont., on July 10, 1940, and grew up in Peoria, Ill., where his father was an accountant and his mother taught home economics. Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2021 Of all the paradoxes in the paradoxical field known as home economics, perhaps the most peculiar is the practice house, with its practice baby. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 19 Apr. 2021

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

1872, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of home economics was in 1872

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Dictionary Entries Near home economics

home ec

home economics

home edition

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Statistics for home economics

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Home economics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for home economics

home economics


English Language Learners Definition of home economics

: a subject or class that teaches cooking, sewing, and other skills that are useful in the home

More from Merriam-Webster on home economics Encyclopedia article about home economics


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