in·​dus·​try | \ ˈin-(ˌ)də-strē How to pronounce industry (audio) \
plural industries

Definition of industry

1a : manufacturing activity as a whole the nation's industry
b : a distinct group of productive or profit-making enterprises the banking industry
c : a department or branch of a craft, art, business, or manufacture especially : one that employs a large personnel and capital especially in manufacturing
d : systematic labor especially for some useful purpose or the creation of something of value
2 : diligence in an employment or pursuit especially : steady or habitual effort
3 : work devoted to the study of a particular subject or author the Shakespeare industry

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Choose the Right Synonym for industry

business, commerce, trade, industry, traffic mean activity concerned with the supplying and distribution of commodities. business may be an inclusive term but specifically designates the activities of those engaged in the purchase or sale of commodities or in related financial transactions. commerce and trade imply the exchange and transportation of commodities. industry applies to the producing of commodities, especially by manufacturing or processing, usually on a large scale. traffic applies to the operation and functioning of public carriers of goods and persons.

Examples of industry in a Sentence

He favors policies that promote industry. She invested in several large industries. She became so popular that a whole industry grew up around her and her image.
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Recent Examples on the Web The ruling provides a green light for others in the biomedical industry willing to pursue profit no matter the human cost. Haider J. Warraich, STAT, 20 Sep. 2021 Those in healthcare are well aware of the challenges and regulations inherent to the industry. Steve Peretz, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 As for Jackson, his group is working on a deal to have a large investment company pay for a cultivation warehouse and lease it back to them, an increasingly common practice in the cannabis industry. Robert Mccoppin,, 20 Sep. 2021 The precarious balance of the U.K.'s meat market and reliance on CF Industries Holding's fertilizer plants illustrate how problems in one industry quickly ripple across in a tightly interconnected economy. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 20 Sep. 2021 The Justice Department is investigating home sale commissions, and in a wide-ranging executive order President Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission to adopt rules to address unfair or exclusionary practices in the real-estate industry. John D. Mckinnon, WSJ, 20 Sep. 2021 According to police, Rajpaul was a South African native who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the adult film industry. Katie Campione,, 20 Sep. 2021 Though she's had a decades-long career in the music industry, as a single woman she's been largely priced out of Austin, and so instead is expanding her search into the surrounding area. Katie Friel, Chron, 20 Sep. 2021 In New York City alone, the absence of tourists wiped out 89,000 jobs in the tourism industry and resulted in a loss of more than $60 billion in revenue, the state comptroller found., 20 Sep. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for industry

Middle English (Scots) industrie, from Middle French, from Latin industria, from industrius diligent, from Old Latin indostruus, perhaps from indu in + -struus (akin to Latin struere to build) — more at end-, strew

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Learn More About industry

Time Traveler for industry

Time Traveler

The first known use of industry was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Industry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for industry



English Language Learners Definition of industry

: the process of making products by using machinery and factories
: a group of businesses that provide a particular product or service
: the habit of working hard and steadily


in·​dus·​try | \ ˈin-də-strē How to pronounce industry (audio) \
plural industries

Kids Definition of industry

1 : businesses that provide a certain product or service the oil industry the shipping industry
2 : manufacturing activity In May, industry slowed down.
3 : the habit of working hard and steadily Rab did not immediately spring into action to make a good show of his industry before his master.— Esther Forbes, Johnny Tremain

More from Merriam-Webster on industry

Nglish: Translation of industry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of industry for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about industry


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