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noun, plural in·dus·tries for 1, 2, 7.
  1. the aggregate of manufacturing or technically productive enterprises in a particular field, often named after its principal product: the automobile industry; the steel industry.
  2. any general business activity; commercial enterprise: the Italian tourist industry.
  3. trade or manufacture in general: the rise of industry in Africa.
  4. the ownership and management of companies, factories, etc.: friction between labor and industry.
  5. systematic work or labor.
  6. energetic, devoted activity at any work or task; diligence: Her teacher praised her industry.
  7. the aggregate of work, scholarship, and ancillary activity in a particular field, often named after its principal subject: the Mozart industry.
  8. Archaeology. an assemblage of artifacts regarded as unmistakably the work of a single prehistoric group.

Origin of industry

1475–85; earlier industrie < Latin industria, noun use of feminine of industrius industrious
Related formsin·ter·in·dus·try, adjectivemin·i-in·dus·try, noun, plural min·i-in·dus·tries.non·in·dus·try, adjectivepre·in·dus·try, noun, adjectivepro·in·dus·try, adjectivesub·in·dus·try, noun, plural sub·in·dus··per·in·dus·try, noun, plural su·per·in·dus·tries.

Synonyms for industry

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for industry


noun plural -tries
  1. organized economic activity concerned with manufacture, extraction and processing of raw materials, or construction
  2. a branch of commercial enterprise concerned with the output of a specified product or servicethe steel industry
    1. industrial ownership and management interests collectively, as contrasted with labour interests
    2. manufacturing enterprise collectively, as opposed to agriculture
  3. diligence; assiduity

Word Origin for industry

C15: from Latin industria diligence, from industrius active, of uncertain origin
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 industry

late 15c., "cleverness, skill," from Old French industrie "activity; aptitude" (14c.) or directly from Latin industria "diligence, activity, zeal," fem. of industrius "industrious, diligent," used as a noun, from early Latin indostruus "diligent," from indu "in, within" + stem of struere "to build" (see structure (n.)). Sense of "diligence, effort" is from 1530s; meaning "trade or manufacture" first recorded 1560s; that of "systematic work" is 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper