synergy

noun
syn·​er·​gy | \ ˈsi-nər-jē How to pronounce synergy (audio) \
plural synergies

Definition of synergy

1 : synergism broadly : combined action or operation
2 : a mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility of distinct business participants or elements (such as resources or efforts)

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Did You Know?

An old saying, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts", expresses the basic meaning of synergy. The word is sometimes used in a purely physical sense, especially when talking about drugs; sometimes a "cocktail" of drugs may be more effective than the sum of the effectiveness of each of the separate drugs. But the word is best known in the world of business. The notion that, when the right two companies merge, they'll produce a profitable synergy seemed exciting in the 1990s, when synergy became a trendy buzzword (even though it's actually been around since the 17th century). The idea of synergy was one factor in what became a "merger mania;" unfortunately, business synergy often turned out to be harder to achieve than to imagine.

Examples of synergy in a Sentence

A synergy has developed among the different groups working on this project. two companies that have found synergy

Recent Examples on the Web

Without those boundaries, executives may not do the hard upfront work to properly identify cost-cutting initiatives, or synergies, experts say. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "In ‘Mergers of Equals,’ One Side Is Always a Bit More Equal," 14 June 2019 Both companies’ shares stand to benefit because of the potential synergies, which could free up capital that may be deployed, Jefferies wrote in a note. Richard Clough, Fortune, "United Technologies and Raytheon to Combine to Form New Defense Giant," 10 June 2019 Linde estimates the deal will create annual synergies of between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion within three years. WSJ, "The Linde-Praxair Merger Explained," 14 Dec. 2018 Fashion and Hollywood have long had a reciprocal relationship, but this shoot—conducted in New York over two days shortly before Christmas in what Ghesquière described as a tour de force of logistics—makes the synergies explicit. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Who Needs a Runway? Nicolas Ghesquière Hires an A-List Power Posse For His Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall Lookbook," 14 Jan. 2019 Anthy Price, executive vice president of media, integrated marketing, and synergy at The Walt Disney Studios, told Variety. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Disney Is Using Its Stockpile of Blockbuster Franchises to Increase Ad Sales," 15 May 2018 There’s a timely synergy of a different kind to that. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Who Needs a Runway? Nicolas Ghesquière Hires an A-List Power Posse For His Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall Lookbook," 14 Jan. 2019 Li is expected to focus on building profitability by cutting costs and finding synergies inside the global conglomerate that also owns utility companies and mobile-phone networks. Bloomberg.com, "Decades-Long Apprenticeship of Li Ka-shing's Son Is Finally Over," 16 Mar. 2018 In fact, Leon and Lim started designing after Leon decided to make the film, so there’s natural, built-in synergy between the projects. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Kenzo’s Humberto Leon Turns Director, With Tips from Spike Jonze and Chloë Sevigny," 6 Sep. 2018

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

1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for synergy

New Latin synergia, from Greek synergos working together

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Statistics for synergy

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for synergy

The first known use of synergy was in 1632

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More Definitions for synergy

synergy

noun

Financial Definition of synergy

What It Is

Synergy is the benefit that results when two or more agents work together to achieve something either one couldn't have achieved on its own.  It's the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

How It Works

Synergy is often one of the goals of a merger or acquisition. The two firms combined may be able to achieve higher profitability than either firm could achieve on its own. Synergy can be reflected in increased revenues and/or lower expenses.

For example, a company may acquire a similar firm, allowing it to expand its product offering and, as a result, increase its sales and revenues. This could not have been accomplished had the two firms remained independant.

In management, synergies may be created between management teams, resulting in increased capacity and workflow that was not possible when the teams were working independently.

As for costs, synergies allow for the creation of economies of scale. For example, a merger can reduce multiple levels of management and duplication and spread fixed cost technologies over larger operations.

Why It Matters

Synergies may be elusive, but they are one of the most important objectives in business. To acquire synergy will result in more efficiency, more efficacy and higher profitability.

Source: Investing Answers

synergy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of synergy

technical : the increased effectiveness that results when two or more people or businesses work together

synergy

noun
syn·​er·​gy | \ ˈsin-ər-jē How to pronounce synergy (audio) \
plural synergies

Medical Definition of synergy

More from Merriam-Webster on synergy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for synergy

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