in·​dus·​try | \ ˈin-(ˌ)də-strē How to pronounce industry (audio) \
plural industries

Definition of industry

1a : manufacturing activity as a whole the nation's industry
b : a distinct group of productive or profit-making enterprises the banking industry
c : a department or branch of a craft, art, business, or manufacture especially : one that employs a large personnel and capital especially in manufacturing
d : systematic labor especially for some useful purpose or the creation of something of value
2 : diligence in an employment or pursuit especially : steady or habitual effort
3 : work devoted to the study of a particular subject or author the Shakespeare industry

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Choose the Right Synonym for industry

business, commerce, trade, industry, traffic mean activity concerned with the supplying and distribution of commodities. business may be an inclusive term but specifically designates the activities of those engaged in the purchase or sale of commodities or in related financial transactions. commerce and trade imply the exchange and transportation of commodities. industry applies to the producing of commodities, especially by manufacturing or processing, usually on a large scale. traffic applies to the operation and functioning of public carriers of goods and persons.

Examples of industry in a Sentence

He favors policies that promote industry. She invested in several large industries. She became so popular that a whole industry grew up around her and her image.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In an industry where long hours are sometimes the norm, especially during tax season, BGBC supports its employees through a range of initiatives. Michael L. Jackson, Indianapolis Star, "Top Workplaces 2019: BGBC Partners," 8 June 2019 In the next 10 years, continued growth stands to propel them to new heights as an important player in the region and in the tech industry. Jessica Levy,, "For local employment opportunities, top tech professionals choose LCS," 7 June 2019 Standing on stage with the queen Michelle Obama and a bunch of my friends in the industry in front of 10,000 kids who had just committed to going to college. Susannah Hutcheson, USA TODAY, "How a 'relentless work ethic' took Elaine Welteroth to top of magazine world," 7 June 2019 Even people who’ve never worked in the industry before are hoping to capitalize on its social aspects. Robert Mccoppin,, "Coming soon to a party near you: marijuana users, and there's a wide variety of them," 7 June 2019 DeRuyter said tanker rollovers in the industry seem to have slowed in the last few years following an increase in 2015. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Dalton Highway tanker crash kills driver, spills 2,000 gallons of diesel," 6 June 2019 The shifting balance of power in the auto industry is already squeezing the lives of thousands of workers. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "The Car Industry Is Under Siege," 6 June 2019 Google Stadia, the company’s ambitious move into the $43 billion video game market, will launch this November, backed by some of the top publishers in the industry. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Google Stadia Goes Live in November," 6 June 2019 In the 21st century, tectonic shifts in the entertainment industry have undermined the decades-old assumption that cinema can be art but–PBS aside–television rots your brain. Judy Berman, Time, "With Meryl Streep on Big Little Lies, It's Time to Admit That Film and TV Are Converging," 6 June 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for industry

Middle English (Scots) industrie, from Middle French, from Latin industria, from industrius diligent, from Old Latin indostruus, perhaps from indu in + -struus (akin to Latin struere to build) — more at end-, strew

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Statistics for industry

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for industry

The first known use of industry was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for industry



English Language Learners Definition of industry

: the process of making products by using machinery and factories
: a group of businesses that provide a particular product or service
: the habit of working hard and steadily


in·​dus·​try | \ ˈin-də-strē How to pronounce industry (audio) \
plural industries

Kids Definition of industry

1 : businesses that provide a certain product or service the oil industry the shipping industry
2 : manufacturing activity In May, industry slowed down.
3 : the habit of working hard and steadily Rab did not immediately spring into action to make a good show of his industry before his master.— Esther Forbes, Johnny Tremain

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Comments on industry

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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