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 Luckily, Warzone knows that team synergy holds the key to both. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Call of Duty's Warzone Hits the Battle Royale Sweet Spot," 11 Mar. 2020 That was a switch the Warriors weren’t about to ask of Thompson, whose backcourt synergy with Curry was a driving force behind the franchise’s recent dynasty. Connor Letourneau,, "Why the Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell experiment never had a chance," 7 Feb. 2020 Alliance synergies saved the carmakers $6.3 billion in 2017, according to the company, a figure forecast to top $11 billion by 2022. NBC News, "Can the Renault-Nissan alliance survive without Carlos Ghosn?," 22 Jan. 2020 Most staff and volunteers have lived similar experiences as our target population which helps accelerate trust and synergy across all programs. Elizabeth Montgomery, azcentral, "Season for Sharing: Nonprofit gives low-income families language classes, other resources," 22 Jan. 2020 There are so many synergies with academic programs, including nursing, dietetics and occupational therapy. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Housing for nuns, other seniors and college students -- who are single moms -- planned at Mount Mary University," 2 Dec. 2019 Even if your job seeker works in a different industry, synergy might still occur. Amy Lindgren, Twin Cities, "Working Strategies: 12 days of gifts for job seekers," 14 Dec. 2019 In the system set up by Silicon Valley and reinforced by its most powerful investors, Neumann and WeWork were the ultimate synergy, mysteriously increasing each other’s value. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "The fall of Adam Neumann is the logical endpoint of Silicon Valley’s unicorn bubble," 24 Sep. 2019 The partnership is also an example of corporate synergy, as FX is now owned by Disney, the company that has partial ownership of Hulu, and has already launched the Disney+ streaming service. oregonlive, "What’s coming in 2020 TV? Streaming mania, more ‘Star Trek,’ tech terrors (this means you, Alexa)," 15 Jan. 2020

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

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Synergy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for synergy



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


How to pronounce synergy (audio)

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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for synergy

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