logistics

noun

lo·​gis·​tics lō-ˈji-stiks How to pronounce logistics (audio)
lə-
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
1
: the aspect of military science dealing with the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of military matériel, facilities, and personnel
2
: the handling of the details of an operation
the logistics of a political campaign

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How are logistics and logic related?

Logistics follows the same pattern of other plural nouns—such as ballistics, linguistics, statistics, or physics—that represent fields of study and take either a singular or plural verb.

Logic, used strictly in the singular, is a science that deals with the formal principles of reason. If a visitor walks in the house with a wet umbrella, it is logical for one to assume that it is raining outside. Logistics, which involves such concerns as the delivery of personnel or supplies in an efficient manner, can often employ logic, such as by reasoning out the path least likely to interrupt the flow of a delivery:

As with many other areas of the economy, the digital revolution is having a profound effect on delivery logistics. The combination of mobile computing, analytics, and cloud services, all of which are fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT), is changing how delivery and fulfillment companies are conducting their operations.
—Andrew Meola, Business Insider, 14 Oct. 2016

Both logic and logistics ultimately derive from the Greek logos, meaning "reason." But while logic derives directly from Greek, logistics took a longer route, first passing into French as logistique, meaning "art of calculating," and then into English from there.

Examples of logistics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This high-tech inventory management system help a logistics provider to be more efficient and timely, requiring fewer employees. Allen Buchanan, Orange County Register, 18 May 2024 Hoped for debuts, like a possible listing from Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics division, have evaporated. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune Asia, 22 Apr. 2024 The region’s port is also an important logistics point for exports. Bloomberg News, TIME, 5 Apr. 2024 In an email, the festival’s logistics coordinator Wendy Sites said HonFest organizers have decided to retire. Amanda Yeager, Baltimore Sun, 25 Jan. 2024 See all Example Sentences for logistics 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'logistics.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

French logistique art of calculating, logistics, from Greek logistikē art of calculating, from feminine of logistikos of calculation, from logizein to calculate, from logos reason

First Known Use

circa 1861, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of logistics was circa 1861

Dictionary Entries Near logistics

Cite this Entry

“Logistics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/logistics. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

logistics

singular or plural noun
lo·​gis·​tics lō-ˈjis-tiks How to pronounce logistics (audio)
: a branch of military science that deals with the transporting, housing, and supplying of troops
logistic
-tik
adjective
or logistical
-ti-kəl
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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