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

Steven Zeitchik covers the business of entertainment for The Washington Post, examining the industry’s trends, challenges, issues and ideas. Anchorage Daily News, "Why NBC’s takeback of ‘The Office’ could be the beginning of consumer chaos," 7 July 2019 While much of the United States has benefited from robust economic growth in recent years, Alaska’s fortunes have been largely tied to those of the state’s declining oil and gas industry. Mike Baker, New York Times, "Blindsided by a ‘Devastating’ Veto, Alaska’s University System Pleads for a Lifeline," 7 July 2019 Proponents of the bills say the industry operates under outdated rules set nearly 40 years ago. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Big changes could be coming to Michigan walleye, trout, perch fishing," 6 July 2019 Growth in the services sector, which includes such varied industries as restaurants, finance and recreation, slowed in June. Time, "U.S. Hiring Rises Sharply in June as Employers Add 224,000 More Jobs," 5 July 2019 The results are clear, and support the notion that the oil industry’s lone female CEO uses more inclusive language than her male counterparts. Akshat Rathi, Quartz at Work, "The inclusive language that sets the oil industry’s lone female CEO apart from the rest," 5 July 2019 The browser fight has become heated enough to worry the advertising and media industries. David Ingram, NBC News, "Privacy-first browsers look to take the shine off Google's Chrome," 5 July 2019 Cline made his fortune revamping Illinois’ coal industry, Bloomberg reported. Fox News, "Trump donor from West Virginia among 7 Americans killed in copter crash in Bahamas, officials say," 5 July 2019 The tropical blooms have grown in size since then, repeatedly sweeping ashore on Atlantic and Caribbean beaches (pictured), trapping nesting sea turtles and disrupting local tourism industries. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "This is the world’s largest patch of seaweed. And it’s growing in an unexpected place," 4 July 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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Learn More about industry

Statistics for industry

Last Updated

10 Jul 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

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