sub·si·dy | \ˈsəb-sə-dē, -zə-\
plural subsidies

Definition of subsidy 

: a grant or gift of money: such as

a : a sum of money formerly granted by the British Parliament to the crown and raised by special taxation

b : money granted by one state to another

c : a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public

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Examples of subsidy in a Sentence

The city is increasing subsidies for public transit. government subsidies for farmers in case of crop failure

Recent Examples on the Web

The Harford County Council narrowly approved that subsidy in 2012. Luke Broadwater,, "As governor, Larry Hogan's real estate business continues to thrive — prompting questions," 13 July 2018 Electric-vehicle sales continued to grow strongly, boosted by government subsidies and other policies encouraging consumers to buy EVs. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "Ford Sales Plummet in China, and New Tariff Hit Is Yet to Come," 11 July 2018 UNC Charlotte has reached a deal with Marriott to build a 226-room hotel and conference center near the J.W. Clay Boulevard light-rail station, and the university is seeking an $8 million public subsidy. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "Marriott hotel, conference center likely coming to light-rail station," 29 June 2018 Warren County attorneys say the lawsuit stems from a misunderstanding of adoption assistance law and that all families agreed to their subsidies. Keith Bierygolick,, "Addicted, abused and unable to count: a federal lawsuit about damaged kids in Warren County," 12 July 2018 But renewable energy technologies seem to be on a trajectory toward subsidy independence (though plenty of policy and regulatory barriers to advanced energy tech remain). David Roberts, Vox, "The US is rapidly losing nuclear power. That’s profoundly concerning for climate change.," 11 July 2018 But here too the insurers have threatened higher premiums, even as the insurers pocket tax-credit subsidies that increase with premiums. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Health Insurers Squawk," 10 July 2018 But then, on May 31, China surprisingly slashed its solar subsidies and incentives. Don Lee,, "The roiled solar power market shows how Trump's tariffs can disrupt an industry," 7 July 2018 The Chicago Express Loop, which will take passengers from downtown Chicago to the airport in just 12 minutes using electric vehicles that run through new twin underground tunnels, will be funded by the Boring Company, with no taxpayer subsidy. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "Is Elon Musk Scamming Chicago?," 14 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for subsidy

Middle English subsidie, from Anglo-French, from Latin subsidium reserve troops, support, assistance, from sub- near + sedēre to sit — more at sub-, sit

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Statistics for subsidy

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for subsidy

The first known use of subsidy was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for subsidy



English Language Learners Definition of subsidy

: money that is paid usually by a government to keep the price of a product or service low or to help a business or organization to continue to function

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