noun in·dus·try \ ˈin-(ˌ)də-strē \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of industry

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

Examples of industry in a Sentence

  1. He favors policies that promote industry.

  2. She invested in several large industries.

  3. She became so popular that a whole industry grew up around her and her image.

Recent Examples of industry from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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.

INDUSTRY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of industry for English Language Learners

  • : 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

INDUSTRY Defined for Kids


noun in·dus·try \ ˈin-də-strē \

Definition of industry for Students

plural industries
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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having an air of easy unconcern

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