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

Fire crews in Longwood are battling a major fire in an industrial area this afternoon, according to WESH-Channel 2. Jeff Weiner,, "Crews battle major fire off State Road 434 in Longwood: report," 13 July 2018 The partnership between Davis — a large, for-profit developer — and the pair of Chinatown nonprofits was a way to combine efforts and transform a full block of the formerly industrial area where the South End and Chinatown meet. Tim Logan,, "Two South End apartment complexes, including a ‘millennial resort,’ win approval," 13 July 2018 Rare earth refining is done on a large scale in only two places on earth: China, and Lynas’s plant here in Kuantan, Malaysia, a sprawling industrial area on the coast of the South China Sea. Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, "How Rare Earths (What?) Could Be Crucial in a U.S.-China Trade War," 11 July 2018 It is shared by 50 other Melbourne residents who belong to Urban Coup, a collective that wants to turn a disused button factory in an old industrial area into a cohousing community by 2020. Michael Taylor, The Christian Science Monitor, "Won't you be my neighbor: Melbourne experiments with community-led housing," 11 July 2018 The company, which makes loudspeakers, sits on a dead-end street in an industrial area near I-95. Christine Dempsey,, "Speaker Manufacturer Destroyed In Massive Stratford Fire," 9 July 2018 State television footage showed giant clouds of smoke towering over fields, rooftops and a distant industrial area, accompanied by the sound of occasional explosions. NBC News, "U.N. urges Jordan to open border as 320,000 flee while Russian jets hit southern Syria," 5 July 2018 Seattle firefighters responded Wednesday night to a three-alarm fire at a warehouse in an industrial area near the West Seattle Bridge. Jim Brunner, The Seattle Times, "Flames, black smoke pour from warehouse fire in Seattle industrial area," 4 July 2018 But those are all located in the city’s industrial area. Karen Pearlman,, "Santee poised to allow more microbreweries," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images The Dow industrials climbed 320.11 points, or 1.3%, to 24776.59—its largest one-day climb since June 6. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Dow Posts Best Day in a Month," 9 July 2018 But the Dow industrials slipped 42.41 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,657.80. Washington Post, "Asian stocks mostly up despite underlying US-China tension," 20 June 2018 Tech shares joined industrials in a sharp fall as American markets opened Monday, after reports that President Trump was considering restrictions on Chinese investments in American technology companies. Matt Phillips, New York Times, "Stock Markets Slip on Trade Policy Fears," 25 June 2018 Caterpillar was among the biggest losers in the Dow industrials, falling 4.49, or 3.2% to 136.76. Ben St. Clair And, WSJ, "Fresh Trade Threats Drag on U.S. Stocks," 11 July 2018 The bank remains committed to coverage of financial services, technology, healthcare, industrials, consumer goods, gaming and financial sponsors, Fedorcik added in the memo. Michael Bellusci And Steven Arons, Houston Chronicle, "Deutsche Bank to shut Houston office in energy pullback," 4 May 2018 Those that benefit when economic conditions and risk appetite are improving—like financials, industrials and technology—have lagged behind. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Tariff Talk Finally Turns Real for Asia Markets," 6 July 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

6 Nov 2018

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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

What made you want to look up industrial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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