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 Well, if this isn't just a nice little moment of American Idol synergy., "American Idol recap: Katharine McPhee, Brian McKnight, and more celebs show out for duets night," 5 Apr. 2021 There are times when the synergy produces some moments of biopic magic. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: National Geographic’s Aretha Franklin miniseries misses its groove," 19 Mar. 2021 Then there’s the opportunity cost of so many high-caliber directors and actors getting involved with the MCU, whose artistic freedom clashes with corporate synergy. Washington Post, "How a ‘WandaVision’ viral tweet explains the passion of Marvel fans — and haters," 5 Mar. 2021 The synergy between plant care and self-care draws a diverse, multigenerational clientele to the business’s 2,000-square-foot oasis, which currently offers a by-appointment shopping experience Friday through Sunday, due to COVID. Metanoya Z. Webb, Essence, "Come To Their Oakland Shop For The Plants, But Stay For The Sanctuary and Peace," 4 Mar. 2021 The plan rests on four pillars, each of which could be adopted solo in its own right but all of which make for synergy gains thanks to mutual complementarities. Robert Hockett, Forbes, "‘Building Back Better’ Phase Two – Time Now To Jumpstart Domestic Production," 3 Mar. 2021 All five guys grouped together while Valorant was in its early stages, building synergy and becoming a force to be reckoned with. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "How — and why— North Texas’ powerhouse esports orgs Complexity, Envy built their ‘Valorant’ teams," 20 Aug. 2020 Change is inevitable in a story told over decades, every succeeding vehicle forged in a crucible of corporate synergy, fan service, new fashions, creative inspiration and the desire to stay in business. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, "With ‘Justice League,’ Superman is back in movies. But he’s always been better on TV," 9 Mar. 2021 In this place there is a synergy between visual art, music, dance and theater in combination with the natural beauty of mountain, wood and water. Roger Sands, Forbes, "Neighborhood To Watch: The Village Of West Greenville, South Carolina," 4 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for synergy

Time Traveler

The first known use of synergy was in 1632

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Statistics for synergy

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Synergy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for synergy



English Language Learners Definition of synergy

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


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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