lo·​gis·​tics | \ lō-ˈji-stiks How to pronounce logistics (audio) , lə- \

Definition of logistics

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 wet hair, 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 Obey Giant team contacted Wallpapered City in January, and the two organizations have worked together to secure a location and plan the logistics of the mural. Genevieve Redsten, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Artist Shepard Fairey, creator of Obama 'Hope' poster, will paint a voting-rights mural in downtown Milwaukee," 10 July 2020 Without giving too much away, Samberg's Nyles isn't completely alone in that, though as with all time-bending concepts, the less one knows going in -- or dwells on the logistics -- probably the better. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Palm Springs' is like 'Groundhog Day' all over (and over) again," 10 July 2020 The Republican National Committee has struggled with the logistics of holding a convention during a pandemic. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Florida attorneys sue to stop Jacksonville from hosting Republican National Convention," 9 July 2020 Michael Bennett, the chairman of the D.C. Board of Elections, said officials must still work out logistics of distributing ballots. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "D.C. on the brink of allowing inmates to vote from prison," 8 July 2020 Top news and in-depth analysis on the world of logistics, from supply chain to transport and technology. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Cosco Strikes Blockchain Pact for Ocean Cargo With Alibaba, Ant," 7 July 2020 Apart from untangling the hairball logistics of getting pilots in place amid a pandemic, Rogers is looking forward to raising awareness. Anne Quito, Quartz, "For Independence Day, skytypers will expose immigrant jails across the US," 3 July 2020 The medical monitoring that is part of trial logistics might represent better healthcare than is normally available; cash compensation for participating might represent more money than a local resident could normally earn. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, "Where Should Covid-19 Vaccines Be Tested? It's a Moving Target," 1 July 2020 Past: The annual BET awards aired online Sunday and was praised not only for handling the logistics of pulling together a variety of stunning virtual performances but for reckoning with the Black American experience. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "How not to design Mississippi’s new state flag," 30 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'logistics.' 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 logistics

circa 1861, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for logistics

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

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Time Traveler for logistics

Time Traveler

The first known use of logistics was circa 1861

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Statistics for logistics

Last Updated

13 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Logistics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/logistics. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for logistics


How to pronounce logistics (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of logistics

: the things that must be done to plan and organize a complicated activity or event that involves many people

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