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[in-duhs-tree-uh l] /ɪnˈdʌs tri əl/
of, pertaining to, of the nature of, or resulting from industry:
industrial production; industrial waste.
having many and highly developed industries:
an industrial nation.
engaged in an industry or industries:
industrial workers.
of or relating to the workers in industries:
industrial training.
used in industry:
industrial diamonds: industrial fabrics.
noting or pertaining to industrial life insurance.
an industrial product:
diamonds classed as industrials and nonindustrials.
a company engaged in industrial enterprises.
an employee in some industry, especially a manufacturing industry.
industrials, stocks and bonds of industrial companies.
Origin of industrial
First recorded in 1580-90; industry + -al1
Related forms
industrially, adverb
industrialness, noun
nonindustrial, adjective
nonindustrially, adverb
preindustrial, adjective
proindustrial, adjective
quasi-industrial, adjective
quasi-industrially, adverb
semi-industrial, adjective
semi-industrially, adverb
unindustrial, adjective
Can be confused
industrial, industrious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for industrials
Historical Examples
  • He reduces them to three groups: industrials, artists, and scientists (savants).

    Elements of Morals Paul Janet
  • With pleasure and relief he turned from the industrials to the Soldiers.

    The Soul of Susan Yellam

    Horace Annesley Vachell
  • It yielded pasturage to two sets of industrials—sheep and bees.

  • Once he had owned a hundred shares of one of the industrials.

    By the Light of the Soul Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • It was a period of expansion and confidence; much money was seeking investment and "industrials" were the fashion.

    Tono Bungay H. G. Wells
  • industrials, like Herr Ballin, counted on a short war; they had provided.

    Ten Years Near the German Frontier Maurice Francis Egan
  • The great credit advances made on "industrials," the stocks of manufacturing corporations, are one of the main sources of danger.

    The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
  • People unemployed cannot emigrate, but must swell an army of industrials depending on the Government for relief.

    The Story of Newfoundland

    Frederick Edwin Smith, Earl of Birkenhead
  • In some cases the industrials are housed on the factory grounds, and you see Negro dwellings which amount to industrial barracks.

    The Soul of John Brown Stephen Graham
  • Sheep, of the Cheviot breed mostly, are nearly the sole inhabitants and industrials of this mountainous waste.

British Dictionary definitions for industrials


plural noun
stocks, shares, and bonds of industrial enterprises


of, relating to, derived from, or characteristic of industry
employed in industry: the industrial workforce
relating to or concerned with workers in industry: industrial conditions
used in industry: industrial chemicals
Derived Forms
industrially, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for industrials



1774, from French industriel, from Medieval Latin industrialis, from Latin industria (see industry). Earlier the word had been used in English in a sense "resulting from labor" (1580s); the modern use is considered a reborrowing. Meaning "suitable for industrial use" is from 1904. As a style of dance music, attested from 1988. Industrial revolution was in use by 1840 to refer to recent developments and changes in England and elsewhere.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for industrials



  1. Very masculine; manly; macho, studly: If you can get a date with Bambi, you'll be so industrial, dude! (1980s+ Students)
  2. industrial-strength: an industrial dose of Thorazine (1980s+)


: and the harsh industrial pop of Nine Inch Nails


A variety of rock music: industrial music is ''the sounds our culture makes as it comes unglued'' (1990s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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