noun, plural syn·er·gies.
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Origin of synergy
OTHER WORDS FROM synergysyn·er·gic [si-nur-jik], /sɪˈnɜr dʒɪk/, adjective
Words nearby synergy
What does synergy mean?
Synergy refers to when an interaction of elements produces an effect that is greater than the effect that would have resulted from simply adding up the effects of each individual element.
In other words, synergy is what happens when a combination of things produces an effect or result that is said to be “greater than the sum of its parts.”
When you combine things—chemicals, ingredients, people—you often expect these things to interact in a certain way based on what has been included. But when something extra happens, something greater, this is synergy. Synergy implies that the magic is in the combination, as opposed to in the individual elements themselves.
Synergy can be used in all kinds of contexts. A food critic might say that a particular dish is delicious due to the synergy of its ingredients. In the business world, the word synergy is often seen as a kind of buzzword that’s used as a way of referring to what makes a certain project or venture successful.
Synergy is also used in a more specific way in the context of medicine to refer to the cooperation of multiple body parts, such as muscles or nerves. It can also refer to the interaction of drugs or other stimuli. The things that cooperate in this way can be called synergists.
The word synergism can be used to mean the same thing as synergy. The adjective synergistic can be used to describe a combination that produces such an effect or things that work together in this way.
Example: The cooperation between these departments produced a synergy that led to great success.
Where does synergy come from?
The first records of the word synergy come from the 1650s. It comes from the Greek synerg(ós), meaning “working together,” from syn-, “together,” and érg(on), “work.” The root érg(on) is also the basis of words like energy and ergonomics.
Synergy is usually used in the context of things or people working together in a special, almost magical way. It can be used in all kinds of contexts. In music, it can refer to something like harmony, or something even more. It often involves an intangible quality that’s produced by a combination that is said to be “greater than the sum of its parts.”
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms of synergy?
What are some synonyms for synergy?
What are some words that share a root or word element with synergy?
What are some words that often get used in discussing synergy?
How is synergy used in real life?
Synergy is typically used in a positive way in the discussion of things or people coming together to produce something great.
Love the synergy we have when we make these songs
— Twelve (@twelvetheartist) December 3, 2020
Z is "an effective horror film that manages to capture a special kind of synergy in creeping you out while also pulling you into a great drama," writes our @Umbrella_Ops. Debuts on @Shudder on May 7th.
— Killer Horror Critic (@KillerfromSpace) May 5, 2020
— Ernesto Priego (@ernestopriego) March 15, 2017
Try using synergy!
Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to describe an effect that is said to be the result of synergy?
Example sentences from the Web for synergy
So there’s this kind of happy sort of synergy between technology progress and our great ability to tell stories.PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan on expanding the brand, and the far-off future of VR|Gene Park|October 29, 2020|Washington Post
The integration is on track while “synergies” are ahead of forecast.‘Too big to ignore’: Future estimates profits of nearly $110 million this year|Lucinda Southern|September 8, 2020|Digiday
Taxi can get a lot more from its synergies with other Yandex businesses.Yandex spins out self-driving car unit from its Uber JV, invests $150M into new co|Ingrid Lunden|September 4, 2020|TechCrunch
The talent and creativity on TikTok is unlike any other platform, and we see a lot of synergy between our values and the freedom of self-expression there.The founders of skin care startup Starface on normalizing uncomfortable conversations|Rachel King|August 31, 2020|Fortune
I do believe that the key for people who are trying to create this synergy around environmentalism, climate change, and racism, is to organize your issues into something that’s actionable.Uncharted Power’s Jessica O. Matthews has a plan to revive America’s crumbling infrastructure|Brooke Henderson|August 23, 2020|Fortune
Phil Jackson, to be clear, will not be joining in on this merry bit of corporate synergy.The Knicks Aren't a Sports Team. They're a Reality Show, and Phil Jackson is Their Latest Star.|Robert Silverman|March 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Though King and Malcolm X met only once, Cones demonstrates how they understood and utilized their synergy.
It became clear there was a lot of potential synergy and that a partnership made a lot of sense.Mark McKinnon: Why I’m Working With Hillary Clinton Now|Mark McKinnon|June 14, 2013|DAILY BEAST
And it seemed that alcohol and tobacco worked together in toxic synergy to produce the malignancy.Michael Douglas Says Cunnilingus Caused His Oral Cancer. Really?!|Kent Sepkowitz|June 3, 2013|DAILY BEAST
By the time Cerf died, in 1971, he realized to his regret that synergy was a siren that had swallowed him whole.Why Random and Penguin Must Merge—And When They Almost Did|Gayle Feldman|November 9, 2012|DAILY BEAST
In each moment of our life we entertain some purpose, and to this purpose the synergy of our actions is directed.Tragic Sense Of Life|Miguel de Unamuno
There are lots of opportunities for synergy within Kodacell: marketing, logistics, even packing materials.Makers|Cory Doctorow
There is a synergy between their movements and their muscular contractions and the forthcoming paranormal movements.Metapsychical Phenomena|J. Maxwell
It is, and we must coin a word to express it, a social "synergy" that is wanted.The Cult of Incompetence|Emile Faguet
On several occasions we have remarked a synergy of function, head and eyes moving upward in unison.Tics and Their Treatment|Henry Meigne