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

Essential Meaning of industry

1 : the process of making products by using machinery and factories He favors policies that promote industry.
2 : a group of businesses that provide a particular product or service the automobile/oil/computer industry the tourist/entertainment industry See More ExamplesShe invested in several large industries. She became so popular that a whole industry grew up around her and her image.Hide
3 : the habit of working hard and steadily She is admired for her industry. [=industriousness]

Full 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Offshore wind steel fabrication jobs have been located overseas for decades but Ørsted envisions wind energy as a new 21st century American industry, David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America, said in Thursday’s announcement. Lorraine Mirabella,, 14 Oct. 2021 While much of the climate data used to create the model is publicly available, the most important data will come from the insurance industry, which could provide property and claims information, Henning said. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 14 Oct. 2021 The beauty industry, which relies heavily on in-person services, has been devastated by the effects of Covid-19. Samantha Chaney, CNN, 14 Oct. 2021 The asset management industry, like the rest of the finance world, is a far cry from being considered diverse. Anne Sraders, Fortune, 14 Oct. 2021 Depending on the industry, organizational size, and the scope of projects featured, the job requirements will vary. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 The survey, which polled 800 Latinas and 800 non-Latinas online in both English and Spanish in July, covered a wide range of topics, including wealth, equality, industry, family, political elections and progress. Julianne Pepitone, NBC News, 13 Oct. 2021 Or so is the view of the beauty industry, which uses fall to drop products that reset and restore after summer months spent in the sun, wind, water—or just away from your routine. Fiorella Valdesolo, WSJ, 13 Oct. 2021 Mutual-aid groups, set up during the pandemic to assist unemployed service-industry and gig workers, jumped into action. Anya Groner, The Atlantic, 13 Oct. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About industry

Time Traveler for industry

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near industry




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for industry

Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Industry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for industry


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

More from Merriam-Webster on industry

Nglish: Translation of industry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of industry for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about industry


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!