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

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In reality, the country was in a period of transition, as the industrial revolution marched onward and more people moved from rural areas to cities in search of jobs. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "We have food safety laws thanks to 19th century “poison squad”," 26 Nov. 2018 In this case, Britain’s industrial revolution was transforming the balance of global power in the early 19th century. Ian Morris, New York Times, "The Opium War and the Humiliation of China," 2 July 2018 The industrial revolution in the 19th century changed the landscape of agrarian economies, and of education. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Betsy DeVos goes to Switzerland and bashes U.S. public schools," 7 June 2018 Our industrial revolution and the development of our modern world has literally been fueled by oil and coal. Michael Hiltzik,, "A federal judge accepts climate change science, but throws out a lawsuit blaming oil companies," 26 June 2018 Its bourses are heavy with the technologies of the second industrial revolution—mass-market cars, petrochemicals and machinery—but light on the digital firms that power stockmarkets in America (see chart). The Economist, "A case for owning euro-zone shares," 9 June 2018 Factories, the chief innovation of the industrial revolution, are cathedrals of productivity, built to shelter specialized processes and encourage the division of labor. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "3D Printing Is the Future of Factories (for Real This Time)," 11 July 2018 Most of Texas' oldest structures date back to the 1800s, which was around the same time as the industrial revolution and westward expansion. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "29 Historic Texas courthouses that look like castles," 26 June 2018 Brad’s areas of expertise include technological and industrial revolutions; finance and corporate control; the long-term shape of economic history; and the rise and fall of social democracy. Annalee Newitz, Ars Technica, "Bay Area: Join us 4/11 to discuss the tech boom and the fate of democracy," 4 Apr. 2018

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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to deny responsibility for

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