in·​dus·​tri·​al | \ in-ˈdə-strē-əl \

Definition of industrial 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to industry
2 : derived from human industry industrial wealth
3 : engaged in industry the industrial classes
4 : used in or developed for use in industry industrial diamonds also : heavy-duty an industrial zipper
5 : characterized by highly developed industries an industrial nation



Definition of industrial (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : one that is employed in industry
b : a company engaged in industrial production or service
2 : a stock or bond issued by an industrial corporation or enterprise

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Other Words from industrial


industrially \ in-​ˈdə-​strē-​ə-​lē \ adverb

Examples of industrial in a Sentence


There are thousands of industrial uses for plastic.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And global industrial companies are in for a rough ride: Chinese capacity utilization tends to move tightly both with metals prices and purchasing managers indexes globally. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Chinese Overcapacity Returns to Haunt Global Industry," 10 Jan. 2019 Despite the rally, which includes retail, energy and industrial companies as well as tech and internet stocks, the S&P 500 is down about 2.7 percent so far this week. Marley Jay, The Seattle Times, "Stocks move higher on Wall Street after 2 days of big losses," 21 Nov. 2018 As cities grew and space became limited, old industrial areas were converted into residential neighborhoods. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Industrial Design," 1 Oct. 2018 Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. Brooke Sutherland,, "GE health business is ready for its closeup," 27 June 2018 At the time, G.E. was the largest nonbank financial institution in America, and its liabilities weighed on the industrial company. New York Times, "G.E. to Spin Off Health Care Division as Part of Major Reshaping," 26 June 2018 With annual revenues of $52 billion, HP is now ranked at number 58 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest industrial companies in America. Susie Gharib, Fortune, "HP CEO Predicts Strong 2018 Growth," 22 June 2018 Big industrial companies such as Caterpillar that sell into China's fast-growing economy, which grew 6.8 percent in the first three months of the year, are also vulnerable to a slowdown triggered by a trade dispute. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Trump trade war with China could hurt these 10 stocks," 22 June 2018 The old industrial city of Newark—a town that no other Newark wanted to be mistaken for has been swept up in an aggressive renaissance. Georeen Tanner, Fox News, "Lead may be making Newark’s water poisonous," 17 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The drop took about 100 points off the Dow industrials and pushed the S&P’s health-care sector down 3.4%. Corrie Driebusch And Riva Gold, WSJ, "Sharp Decline Puts Dow in Correction Territory," 14 Dec. 2018 The Dow Jones industrials slid 328 points or 1.3 percent to 24,253, its lowest close since early May. The S&P 500 index lost 37 points or 1.4 percent to 2,717, and the Nasdaq fell 161 points or 2.1 percent to 7,532. Marley Jay,, "When it comes to health insurance, small business owners have options," 25 June 2018 Yet investors have rewarded industrials lately after many manufacturers reported strong second-quarter earnings despite the threat of tariffs hurting global demand. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Rebound for Industrials Helps Stabilize U.S. Stocks," 14 Sep. 2018 After the gains of the past week, the S&P 500 is up 4.4% for the year, while the Dow industrials have risen 4.5% and the Nasdaq Composite has advanced 7.8%. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, "Stocks, Oil Rise as Trade Tensions Ease, but Bonds Signal Anxiety," 3 Dec. 2018 So theorizes Jay Van Sciver, industrials analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "One More Problem Caused by GE Plunge," 24 Oct. 2018 Jim Corridore, directors of industrials research at research and investment firm CFRA Research, told me. Emily Stewart, Vox, "“It’s not going to create or take away a single job”: Why Trump’s excuse on the Saudis doesn’t hold up," 21 Oct. 2018 The Dow's industrials were hit the hardest, led downward by 3M and Caterpillar, which dropped more than 6.5 percent. Thomas Heath,, "'High-water mark' comment from Caterpillar executive spooks investors," 25 Apr. 2018 Consumer staples was leading the downhill march, followed by information technology, financial services, healthcare and industrials. Anchorage Daily News, "Fresh shock waves hit U.S. markets after Trump tweets, China steps up trade war," 2 Apr. 2018

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


1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for industrial

The first known use of industrial was in 1600

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English Language Learners Definition of industrial

: of or relating to industry : of or relating to factories, the people who work in factories, or the things made in factories

: having a developed industry : having factories that actively make a product

: coming from or used in industry : made or used in factories; also : stronger than most other products of its kind


in·​dus·​tri·​al | \ in-ˈdə-strē-əl \

Kids Definition of industrial

1 : of, relating to, or engaged in industry industrial work
2 : having highly developed industries industrial nations

Other Words from industrial

industrially adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on industrial

Spanish Central: Translation of industrial

Nglish: Translation of industrial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of industrial for Arabic Speakers

Comments on industrial

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