[ suhb-si-dee ]
/ ˈsʌb sɪ di /
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See synonyms for: subsidy / subsidies on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural sub·si·dies.
a direct pecuniary aid furnished by a government to a private industrial undertaking, a charity organization, or the like.
a sum paid, often in accordance with a treaty, by one government to another to secure some service in return.
a grant or contribution of money.
money formerly granted by the English Parliament to the crown for special needs.
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Origin of subsidy

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English subsidie, from Anglo-French, from Latin subsidium “auxiliary force, reserve, help,” equivalent to sub-sub- + sid-, combining form of sedēre “to sit” (see sit1) + -ium-ium

synonym study for subsidy

1. Subsidy, subvention are both grants of money, especially governmental, to aid private undertakings. A subsidy is usually given to promote commercial enterprise: a subsidy to manufacturers during a war. A subvention is usually a grant to stimulate enterprises connected with science and the arts: a subvention to a research chemist by a major company.


an·ti·sub·si·dy, noun, plural an·ti·sub·si·dies.non·sub·si·dy, noun, plural non·sub·si·dies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does subsidy mean?

A subsidy is a direct payment made by a government to a company or other organization as a form of assistance.

To grant subsidies is to subsidize, and the process of doing so is subsidization. Governments that grant subsidies often provide them for particular industries, such as farming. The word is most commonly used to refer to such payments.

More generally, subsidy can refer to any grant or monetary contribution. More specifically, it can refer to a payment made by one government to another for a particular service, often according to a treaty.

Example: My company received a government subsidy to help expedite the manufacturing of healthcare products.

Where does subsidy come from?

The first records of the word subsidy come from the 1300s. It ultimately derives from the Latin subsidium, meaning “auxiliary force,” “reserve,” or “help.”

Subsidies are often designed to help provide funds to companies in a particular industry, with the goal of helping that industry thrive—so it can provide jobs or otherwise stimulate economic growth. There are different kinds of subsidies, but the word is usually associated with government payments. Such payments are sometimes called government subsidies. The U.S. government grants subsidies to many industries, including to fossil fuel companies and military and automobile manufacturers.

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What are some other forms related to subsidy?

  • subsidize (verb)
  • antisubsidy (noun)
  • nonsubsidy (noun)

What are some synonyms for subsidy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with subsidy


What are some words that often get used in discussing subsidy?


What are some words subsidy may be commonly confused with?

How is subsidy used in real life?

Subsidy is most commonly associated with government payments to help certain industries.



Try using subsidy!

Is subsidy used correctly in the following sentence?

These subsidies may help billion-dollar corporations, but we should determine if they help everyday citizens.

How to use subsidy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for subsidy

/ (ˈsʌbsɪdɪ) /

noun plural -dies
a financial aid supplied by a government, as to industry, for reasons of public welfare, the balance of payments, etc
English history a financial grant made originally for special purposes by Parliament to the Crown
any monetary contribution, grant, or aid

Word Origin for subsidy

C14: from Anglo-Norman subsidie, from Latin subsidium assistance, from subsidēre to remain, from sub- down + sedēre to sit
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

Cultural definitions for subsidy


A grant made by a government to some individual or business in order to maintain an acceptable standard of living or to stimulate economic growth.

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.