industrial revolution


Definition of industrial revolution

: a rapid major change in an economy (as in England in the late 18th century) marked by the general introduction of power-driven machinery or by an important change in the prevailing types and methods of use of such machines

Examples of industrial revolution in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So this is 3000 times more impact than the industrial revolution. David Meyer, Fortune, "COVID-19’s hit on holiday spending," 20 Oct. 2020 Today’s rauchbier is a continuation of that ancient brewing process, which was almost lost during the industrial revolution. Matt Allyn, Popular Mechanics, "Rauchbier Is the Best Fall Beer," 14 Oct. 2020 To sum up: Economic growth, rooted in a misunderstanding of the Bible that was supercharged by the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution, has become our overarching story. Robert Kunzig, National Geographic, "Let’s not waste this crucial moment: We need to stop abusing the planet," 13 Oct. 2020 Workers migrating into urban areas to supply labor for the industrial revolution lived in rickety, overcrowded tenements. Tom Saler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tom Saler: Cities, economic prosperity and quality of life may suffer from pandemic exodus," 6 Oct. 2020 Steam was already facing extinction during its historic run, but the Mallard represented the perfection of the steam locomotive, the powerhouse that made the industrial revolution possible. Tom Bentley, Popular Mechanics, "Why the 4468 Mallard Is Such a Badass Train," 20 Sep. 2020 Others argue the launch of large-scale mining and smelting operations—seen in glacial records going back thousands of years—means the Anthropocene predates the industrial revolution. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Humans have altered North America’s ecosystems more than melting glaciers," 5 Aug. 2020 Consider, for example, the finding that human activity is the primary cause of observed planetary warming since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Ben Santer, Scientific American, "Counterfactual Experiments Are Crucial, but Easy to Misunderstand," 10 July 2020 Before the industrial revolution, there was little distinction between the work that went into making the things a family could sell—meat, grain, cloth, artifacts—and the work required to keep that family functional. Laurie Penny, Wired, "Women Have Always Worked From Home," 29 May 2020

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

1840, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of industrial revolution was in 1840

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Last Updated

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Industrial revolution.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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