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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

Even if their synergy on the field has not been perfect, Martinez has been getting close enough. Raf Casert, chicagotribune.com, "World Cup Countdown: Talent-rich Belgium seek breakthrough after major tournament letdowns," 6 June 2018 Columnist Michael Smolens wrote about a different kind of synergy between the two in today’s paper. Michael Smolens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "The confluence of homelessness and hepatitis, again," 20 May 2018 For me, just seeing the kind of international synergy—people thinking along parallel lines as far apart as Brazil, Tokyo, or New York—to see how design ideas both have a commonality and yet a quite distinct, regional character, was inspiring. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "The Museum of Modern Art's Upcoming 'Value of Good Design' Exhibit is Not One to Miss," 7 Feb. 2019 In a sense, then, Intel’s future is already set: continue driving forward in the PC space, make gobs of money from the datacenter and Xeon chips, and continue investing in IoT to help further synergies in Intel’s ecosystem. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel makes Bob Swan its permanent CEO, maintaining a slow, steady course away from the PC," 31 Jan. 2019 The synergies with Nissan, however, allowed Renault to ride out the yearslong economic downturn in Europe that followed, winning Mr. Ghosn praise inside the company. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "Curtain Falls on Carlos Ghosn’s Reign Atop Renault," 24 Jan. 2019 Khrystyana and Katya have a great synergy, which results in another best photo of the week. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "'America's Next Top Model' recap: 'RuPaul's Drag Race' faves werk the camera," 14 Feb. 2018 Better connections: More connections and bigger pipes will harness the advantages of 5G and cloud-and-network synergy and enable the digital transformation of every industry. The Economist, "Ceasefires in South Sudan seldom last," 5 July 2018 To Dojoon, the group’s synergy is what makes The Rose distinct. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "Pop-Rock Band The Rose Talk Artistry, Being K-Pop Adjacent," 11 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about synergy

Statistics for synergy

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for synergy

The first known use of synergy was in 1632

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on synergy

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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