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 expansion of the logistics industry in the Inland Empire seemed like a lifeline after the 2008 global economic crisis. NBC News, "'Treated like sacrifices': Families breathe toxic fumes from California's warehouse hub," 27 Apr. 2021 Farrah Salim, an analyst with Gartner Inc., said the logistics industry faces capacity constraints and other headwinds in the wake of the pandemic. Jared Council, WSJ, "XPO Logistics Taps CIO for Supply-Chain Services Spinoff," 10 Apr. 2021 Fast forward 20 years, and the successful crossing to the mainstream market accompanied the skyrocketing adoption of mobile phones and advances in the business transportation logistics industry. Jim Witham, Forbes, "Unique Challenges B2B Tech Companies Face In Moving From Early Adopters To The Mainstream," 24 Feb. 2021 Britain’s logistics industry had warned that businesses would need to hire an additional 50,000 workers to process the 200 million extra customs forms that will be required annually after Brexit. Joe Mayes, Bloomberg.com, "Stuck in Kent: How Brexit Red Tape Choked Cross-Border Trade," 15 Jan. 2021 Peter Lam, a logistics industry employee in Ireland, decided to cancel his return to Hong Kong to visit family. Vivian Wang, New York Times, "A Quarantine Nightmare: Three Weeks in a Hotel, if You Can Find One," 6 Jan. 2021 The region is home to a booming logistics industry that has created tens of thousands of warehouse jobs. Los Angeles Times, "‘They’re coming in younger and coming in sicker’: One hospital’s war with coronavirus," 4 Jan. 2021 The logistics industry, which plays an essential role in the nation’s economy, can be dangerous. Wendi C. Thomas, ProPublica, "FedEx Prioritizes Packages Over Employee Safety, Workers and Experts Say," 23 Dec. 2020 Amazon’s growth in the logistics industry is undermining union clout. al, "How Amazon drove Alabama warehouse workers to unionize," 18 Dec. 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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Logistics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/logistics. Accessed 5 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for logistics



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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Comments on logistics

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