pro·​duc·​tiv·​i·​ty | \ ˌprō-dək-ˈti-və-tē How to pronounce productivity (audio) , ˌprä-, prə-ˌdək-\

Definition of productivity

1 : the quality or state of being productive
2 : the rate per unit area or per unit volume at which biomass consumable as food by other organisms is made by producers

Examples of productivity in a Sentence

The country has low agricultural productivity. The company is looking for ways to improve worker productivity. There has been an increase in productivity.
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Recent Examples on the Web

And more machines are coming as companies try to improve productivity, tilting them toward levels in countries like Germany, which averages 309 robots per 10,000 workers, the most in Europe. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "Robots Ride to the Rescue Where Workers Can’t Be Found," 16 Apr. 2018 DiMauro points to national reports that CSX profits are up, in part because of increased productivity from moving more freight on longer trains. Johanna Seltz,, "In Foxborough, sound and fury over trains," 22 June 2018 The purchase approved Monday is part of a years-long plan to save money and increase productivity by condensing facilities. Alia Malik, San Antonio Express-News, "SAISD to buy Beacon Hill property for $3.45 million," 14 June 2018 But don’t mistake a lack of previous productivity for an absence of potential. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Washington opens spring football this week. These are the top story lines to watch.," 1 Apr. 2019 Long before the Wing opened its doors as a women-only refuge of productivity, there was the Lower Eastside Girls Club, a community center on Manhattan’s Avenue D that serves as a safe haven for young girls in all five boroughs. Vogue, "Natasha Lyonne Hosts the Lower Eastside Girls Club’s Annual Fundraising Benefit," 15 Apr. 2019 This convenience improves productivity and makes our days much more efficient. miamiherald, "CEOs help employees struggling with long commutes," 12 July 2018 From here to England, reporters from around the world marveled at the machine that threatened to take away human jobs while improving productivity and consistency. USA TODAY, "Newsflash! Robots can't live without us," 10 Mar. 2018 Then, a slow, selective reintroduction of devices and apps, each one allowed back in the name of productivity and gratifying leisure. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "A Computer Scientist's Guide To Dumping the Needless Tech In Your Life," 25 Feb. 2019

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

1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for productivity

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for productivity

The first known use of productivity was in 1808

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More Definitions for productivity



Financial Definition of productivity

What It Is

Productivity refers to the measure of output (e.g. products) from a production process per unit of input (e.g. labor and capital).

How It Works

Productivity is usually expressed as a ratio of output to inputs. It can be expressed as units of a product (e.g. cars) per worker-hour (total number of hours worked by all workers on that car).   Given the cost of the worker-hour, productivity can also measure the efficiency of a company.

These measures are quantitative and relatively easy to measure.  However, other factors of productivity, such as creativity, innovation, teamwork, and even quality are qualitative and more difficult to measure

Why It Matters

In most business models, profitability is a function of productivity, price, and volume.  In other words, a company's success is measured by how efficiently it uses its resources to produce its product, the price it can sell its products, and how many products it can actually sell.  When comparing companies within a sector, for example, it is very important for investors to understand the relative productivity comparisons between companies producing the same products.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of productivity

: the rate at which goods are produced or work is completed

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Comments on productivity

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a tendency to relapse

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