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

With New Hope's help, Cheese and Thank You's employees will prepare their resumes, go on interviews and perhaps land permanent jobs in culinary services or other industries. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Food truck serves mac and cheese to guests and careers to disabled adults," 14 Sep. 2019 In other industries, union workers can and often have worked without a contract while the union leaders continue to negotiate, said Shaiken. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "UAW says 'significant' differences remain as contract deadline looms," 14 Sep. 2019 SOEs pledged to invest more in industries such as property and tourism, Reuters said. Iain Marlow, Fortune, "As Anti-Beijing Protests Surged, China Told State-Owned Firms to Buy Control of Hong Kong Companies," 13 Sep. 2019 In Colombia Venezuelans ease labour shortages in the flower and coffee industries. The Economist, "Millions of refugees from Venezuela are straining neighbours’ hospitality," 12 Sep. 2019 Here’s a sampling of recent job cuts in the region, in industries ranging from tech to consumer products to manufacturing, as reported in state filings this week under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Mallory Moench,, "Layoffs at Symantec, Nestlé, Rad Urban show Bay Area companies’ challenges," 12 Sep. 2019 This year, ProPublica has reported on other industries in the ransomware economy, such as data recovery and insurance, which also have enriched ransomware hackers. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, "The New Target That Enables Ransomware Hackers to Paralyze Dozens of Towns and Businesses at Once," 12 Sep. 2019 Lyft said it was disappointed in the outcome of the vote late Tuesday, along with dozens of exemptions granted to other industries but not the ride-hailing companies. Faiz Siddiqui, Anchorage Daily News, "California Senate passes bill that has divided Democrats over the future of Uber and Lyft drivers," 11 Sep. 2019 These releases often included statements designed to win public support by portraying the other side in a negative light though the rhetoric never reached the inflammatory levels that has sometimes characterized labor disputes in other industries. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "BSO and musicians in marathon contract negotiations as deadline looms," 7 Sep. 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

18 Sep 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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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