merg·​er | \ˈmər-jər \

Definition of merger 

1 law : the absorption of an estate, a contract, or an interest in another, of a minor offense in a greater, or of a cause of action into a judgment

2a : the act or process of merging

b : absorption by a corporation of one or more others also : any of various methods of combining two or more organizations (such as business concerns)

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of merger in a Sentence

The law firm announced its $50 million merger with one of its competitors. If the proposed merger of the two oil companies goes through, it would be bad for the economy.

Recent Examples on the Web

Its growth has been organic, as opposed to through mergers and acquisitions, which has allowed it to maintain a consistent culture of quality and stability. Jessica Levy,, "Medpace speeds the advancement of safe, effective medical therapeutics," 8 June 2018 Historically, Chinese companies relisting at home have enjoyed higher valuations than in the U.S., said Jeremy Choy, head of mergers and acquisitions at China Renaissance, which is advising the bidders on the buyout. Kenan Machado, WSJ, "Buyout Bids Return for U.S.-Listed Chinese Companies," 12 Nov. 2018 The merger would have held that in abeyance for three years. Joshua Stewart,, "Merger of two big Southern California food worker unions hits snag," 12 July 2018 The committee issued a report noting a discrepancy between the explanations given by Mount Ida and Lasell officials about why their merger fell through. Laura Krantz,, "Mount Ida president blames closure on Lasell College maneuvers," 9 July 2018 Of the top 10 stations, iHeart Media and Entercom (and related stations from its merger with CBS) account for four each. Ben Fong-torres,, "Paul ‘Lobster’ Wells’ many anniversaries," 5 July 2018 Uber may be facing fines and maybe even a broken deal in Singapore, as a consumer watchdog agency there says its merger with rival Grab earlier this year reduced competition and raised fares. Grace Dobush, Fortune, "Uber's Big Plan to Sell Its Southeast Asia Division May Have Just Fallen Apart," 5 July 2018 Orth shared Johnson's many contributions to Ingalls, including his help with its 2016 merger with UChicago Medicine. Candace Jordan,, "Patti LaBelle, 'Godmother of Soul,' lights up Ingalls Benefit Show," 3 July 2018 That’s not because the company is generous; it’s been prohibited by the federal government to cap US users’ home internet use through the terms of its merger in 2016 with Time Warner Cable. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Charter’s gigabit internet service now available in 27 million US homes," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'merger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of merger

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for merger

merge + -er (as in waiver)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about merger

Dictionary Entries near merger








Statistics for merger

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for merger

The first known use of merger was in 1728

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for merger



Financial Definition of merger

What It Is

A merger is a corporate strategy of combining different companies into a single company in order to enhance the financial and operational strengths of both organizations.

How It Works

A merger usually involves combining two companies into a single larger company. The combination of the two companies involves a transfer of ownership, either through a stock swap or a cash payment between the two companies. In practice, both companies surrender their stock and issue new stock as a new company.

There are several types of mergers. For example, horizontal mergers may happen between two companies in the same industry, such as banks or steel companies. Vertical mergers occur between two companies in the same industry value chain, such as a supplier or distributor or manufacturer. Mergers between two companies in related, but not the same industry are called concentric mergers. These mergers can use the same technologies or skilled workforce to work in both industry segments, such as banking and leasing. Finally, conglomerate mergers occur between two diversified companies that may share management to improve economies of scale for both companies.

A merger sometimes involves new branding or identity of the merged companies. Otherwise, a merger may lead to a combination of the names of the two companies, capitalizing on the brand identity of both companies.

Why It Matters

Mergers may result in a stronger company with combined assets, competencies, and markets. At the same time, mergers may result in a dilution of the financial strengths of one of the companies, particularly if the new company results in the issuance of more stock across the same asset base of the two merged companies. Finally, mergers often fail because of the clash of corporate cultures between the two companies, a reluctance to restructure redundant management and operations, incompatibilities of the technologies used by the companies, and disruptions in the workforce.

Because mergers are difficult to implement, most ultimately take the form of an acquisition, that is, the purchase of a weaker company by a stronger company.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of merger

: the act or process of combining two or more businesses into one business


merg·​er | \ˈmər-jər \

Kids Definition of merger

: the combination of two or more businesses into one

Keep scrolling for more


merg·​er | \ˈmər-jər \

Legal Definition of merger 

1 : the absorption of a lesser estate or interest into a greater one held by the same person — compare confusion

2 : the incorporation and superseding of one contract by another

3a : the treatment (as by statute) of two offenses deriving from the same conduct such that a defendant cannot be or is not punished for both especially when one offense is incidental to or necessarily included in the other a merger of offenses in a statute a merger of convictions

b : the doctrine according to which such offenses must be merged — compare double jeopardy

Note: Merger commonly involves the interpretation of statutes and legislative intent in deciding whether two or more offenses deriving from the same conduct remain distinct.

4 : a doctrine in civil litigation: a judgment in favor of a plaintiff incorporates and supersedes the cause of action and any claims based on it and requires that further litigation in the case by the defendant be concerned with the judgment itself — compare bar sense 3b, estoppel by judgment at estoppel sense 2a, res judicata

5 : the superseding of a prior agreement in a divorce case by the divorce decree

6a : the act or process of merging

b : absorption by one corporation of another also : any of various methods of combining two or more organizations (as business concerns) — compare consolidate

cash merger

: a merger in which shareholders in the company to be absorbed receive cash for their shares rather than shares in the absorbing company a tender offer to be followed by a cash merger — see also cash out

de facto merger

: a merger that is characterized by the issuance of stock to the corporation to be absorbed rather than an outright purchase of assets for cash, by continued participation of the shareholders, directors, and employees of the absorbed corporation, and by an assumption of liabilities by the absorbing corporation

Note: Shareholders in a de facto merger are considered to have the same right to an appraisal of the fair value of their shares as shareholders in a statutory merger.

short-form merger

: an accelerated statutory merger between a subsidiary and a parent corporation that controls a large specified majority of shares in the subsidiary

statutory merger

: a merger performed in accordance with relevant statutes that require specific procedures for the notification and approval of shareholders

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on merger

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with merger

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for merger

Spanish Central: Translation of merger

Nglish: Translation of merger for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of merger for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about merger

Comments on merger

What made you want to look up merger? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!