lo·​gis·​tics lō-ˈji-stiks How to pronounce logistics (audio)
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: the aspect of military science dealing with the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of military matériel, facilities, and personnel
: 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 The talks, which included meetings in late October, were triggered by mounting Russian concerns over the security of an 11-mile bridge across the Kerch Strait that has served as a key logistics line for the Russian military but has been bombed twice by Ukraine and remains a vulnerable war target. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 It’s built a logistics network that rivals the size of UPS domestically. Trisha Thadani, Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2023 Merchants have complained that Amazon unfairly ties access to its marketplace with its logistics service. Leah Nylen, Fortune, 5 Sep. 2023 Even inconsistent communication can become a logistics obstacle that's too difficult to overcome, says Ray. Tianna Soto, Women's Health, 13 Aug. 2023 Or the cost of a logistics solution that continually delivers just-too-late guidance. Lalit Ahuja, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2023 This deal further reinforces the strong bargaining position of unions representing workers in the logistics sector – not just in the U.S. but also in Canada, Europe and elsewhere. Jason Miller, The Conversation, 25 July 2023 Over the past five years, Amazon has built a logistics network that rivals UPS, delivering millions of packages throughout the country every day. Caroline O'Donovan, Washington Post, 3 May 2023 The most recent Logistics Managers’ Index measuring logistics activity in the U.S. showed transportation prices were contracting in February at the fastest rate in the index’s 61/2-year history. Liz Young, WSJ, 10 Mar. 2023 See More

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


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 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


noun singular or plural
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
or logistical
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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