subsistence farming

or subsistence agriculture


noun

farming whose products are intended to provide for the basic needs of the farmer, with little surplus for marketing.
farming that brings little or no profit to the farmer, allowing only for a marginal livelihood.

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Origin of subsistence farming

First recorded in 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for subsistence farming

subsistence farming

noun

a type of farming in which most of the produce (subsistence crop) is consumed by the farmer and his family, leaving little or nothing to be marketed
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 subsistence farming

subsistence farming

Farming that provides enough food for the farmer and his family but not enough for sale. By comparison, commercial farming is farming that provides products for sale.

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.