[ ek-uh-nom-iks, ee-kuh- ]
/ ˌɛk əˈnɒm ɪks, ˌi kə- /


(used with a singular verb) the science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, or the material welfare of humankind.
(used with a plural verb) financial considerations; economically significant aspects: What are the economics of such a project?

Nearby words

  1. economic sanctions,
  2. economic strike,
  3. economic zone,
  4. economical,
  5. economically,
  6. economism,
  7. economist,
  8. economistic,
  9. economize,
  10. economizer

Origin of economics

First recorded in 1785–95; see origin at economic, -ics Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for economics

British Dictionary definitions for economics


/ (ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪks, ˌɛkə-) /


(functioning as singular) the social science concerned with the production and consumption of goods and services and the analysis of the commercial activities of a societySee also macroeconomics, microeconomics
(functioning as plural) financial aspectsthe economics of the project are very doubtful
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

Word Origin and History for economics



1580s, "art of managing a household," perhaps from French économique (see economic); also see -ics. Meaning "science of wealth" is from 1792.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for economics


The science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of commodities.


Economics is generally understood to concern behavior that, given the scarcity of means, arises to achieve certain ends. When scarcity ceases, conventional economic theory may no longer be applicable. (See affluent society.)


Economics is sometimes referred to as the “dismal science.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.