in·​dus·​try | \ˈin-(ˌ)də-strē \
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

Subaru owns this whole vehicle conception, which has carried the company through a record 83 consecutive months of month-over sales increases, with the second-highest owner brand loyalty in the industry after Toyota, according to Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Subaru Forester: Do You Want Your Car to Spy on You?," 9 Nov. 2018 Making apparel available to dancers of color is a good first step that will hopefully pave the way for greater diversity and acceptance in the industry. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Ballet has long excluded dancers of color. A broader range of “nude” pointe shoes signal change.," 9 Nov. 2018 Change only happens when there’s more representation in the industry. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Potential Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Plus-Size, Transgender, and Disabled Models Speak Out," 8 Nov. 2018 Another is to insert more ads into their products — known in the industry as increasing the ad load — or to insert more ads into new products, something Facebook is trying to do with Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Rani Molla, Recode, "Social media growth is over in the U.S. — which is its most valuable market," 5 Nov. 2018 The point is to give every establishment from gyms to businesses to corporate wellness programs an understanding of what's going on in the industry. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "The Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2019, According to Fitness Pros," 1 Nov. 2018 In this industry and with the way things normally go, that’s priceless, to be honest. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Lauren Jauregui Wants to Show You the Real Her," 25 Oct. 2018 GreyShift is part of a growing industry working to thwart Apple's privacy efforts. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Apple Just Made Its Phones Impossible For Police to Hack," 25 Oct. 2018 That has created some conflict in an industry that has long remained relatively quiet. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Lithium giants feud over competition, brine in Chile’s Atacama Desert," 21 Oct. 2018

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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Learn More about industry

Statistics for industry

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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 \
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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