Definition of economy in English:

economy

noun

  • 1The state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money:

    ‘he favours tax cuts to stimulate the economy’
    • ‘Corporate profitability and the profit share in the economy remain relatively strong.’
    • ‘The city's economy depends on the flow of trade between the United States and Canada.’
    • ‘Economically, coffee production came to dominate as Colombian insertion into the world market economy depended on this export commodity.’
    • ‘The integrated oil companies could also benefit as global economies continue to recover.’
    • ‘As the city's economy continues to rapidly expand, the housing market booms.’
    • ‘He reiterated the nation's economy is rebounding and that the government will continue to support growth.’
    • ‘A recent shutdown at US docks nearly dragged the region's economies into recession.’
    • ‘What's more, strong job growth suggests that a region's economy is expanding.’
    • ‘China's economy slowed more than expected in the second quarter.’
    • ‘As their home countries' economies grow and populations age, these flows are likely to get smaller.’
    • ‘The global capitalist economy remains the most important transnational force in the world today.’
    • ‘But this would, in all likelihood, push the economy into a recession.’
    • ‘In 2003, the nation's economy expanded 6.9 percent.’
    • ‘On its most reliable measure Japan's stagnant economy grew by a surprising 0.6 % over the same period.’
    • ‘Even a sluggish economy isn't likely to dampen the outlook for these Internet start-ups.’
    • ‘The slowing global economy has weakened demand for Japan's high-technology exports, causing manufacturers to cut production and workers.’
    • ‘Togo's stagnant, underdeveloped economy is largely dependent on agricultural exports.’
    • ‘The country's market economy is based largely on agriculture.’
    • ‘The city's economy is booming, but the divide between the rich and everyone else is widening.’
    • ‘China's economy expanded 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter from the year earlier period.’
    1. 1.1 A particular system or stage of an economy:
      ‘a free-market economy’
      • ‘Deforestation set in motion a series of environmental changes that undermined the subsistence economy of the region.’
      • ‘It was an arrangement that covered most people, but with Deng Xiaoping's move to a market economy, the system was doomed.’
      • ‘If you take the long view, the commodity economy passes through three stages.’
      • ‘Rather, traditional trade unionists from militant areas of the private economy turned out to support a system that suits them.’
      • ‘The government has to start taking advantage of today's capitalist economy.’
      • ‘As always, it's a much neater and efficient system than a centralized economy.’
      • ‘But declarations of support for the capitalist economy and the profit system were not enough.’
      • ‘Overnight, it could become the delivery system of the digital economy.’
      • ‘Now that the market economy has become the system of choice for more and more countries, a key political concern must be to locate the faultline.’
      • ‘The internet economy will be transformed by this second stage of barrier reduction.’
      • ‘The farm economy in valley is dependent on the canal irrigation system which feeds tens of thousands of acres of land across the valley.’
      • ‘A booming rural economy, they hope, will boost the demand for industrial goods.’
  • 2[mass noun] Careful management of available resources:

    ‘fuel economy’
    • ‘Diesel engines also average about 15 percent better fuel economy over gasoline engines.’
    • ‘The extra gears will improve low speed performance and increase fuel economy.’
    • ‘In the auto-shift mode the system chooses the most logical gear for engine speed and fuel economy at any time.’
    • ‘Now the technology is there to boost fuel economy without sacrificing size or performance.’
    • ‘It is the one way to get fuel economy, emissions and performance improvement in the same package.’
    • ‘Eaton expects the device to boost fuel economy by letting the engine idle during initial acceleration.’
    • ‘As well as giving an impressive blend of performance and economy, the new engine is also quiet.’
    • ‘Of course, many people are in favour of improving fuel economy, so are these safety concerns well-founded?’
    • ‘It is equipped with particulate filter, and combines low emissions with good economy and excellent performance.’
    • ‘And as their popularity has grown, overall U.S. fuel economy and gas consumption have gotten worse.’
    • ‘The transmission allows automatic scheduling of engine speed and transmission ratio for fuel economy.’
    • ‘After that you change over to synthetic oil for a small gain in power, fuel economy, and engine longevity.’
    • ‘When it is your own home, you can pick the appliances you want and monitor your bills carefully to get good economy from gas and electricity.’
    • ‘GM estimates that direct injection can improve gas engine fuel economy by 10 percent.’
    • ‘So they're refined to drive, exhibit a bit of style and deliver excellent fuel economy.’
    • ‘As well as excellent fuel economy it also allows the company driver to avoid the three per cent benefit in kind diesel surcharge.’
    • ‘We're trying to achieve higher targets of engine fuel economy, for example.’
    • ‘It is super-luxurious, completely comfortable, but for the size of engine the fuel economy is actually quite good.’
    • ‘Fuel economy is excellent on a long run, up to 70 mpg, and even in the city you will get upwards of 43 mpg.’
    • ‘Selection for economy means that smaller cells must have smaller nuclei.’
    thrift, providence, prudence, thriftiness, canniness, carefulness, care, good management, good husbandry, careful budgeting, economizing, saving, scrimping and saving, scrimping, restraint, frugality, fuel-saving, abstemiousness
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[as modifier] Offering good value for money:
      ‘an economy pack of soap flakes’
      • ‘If you buy economy brands, remember they may not be as effective as more expensive ones.’
      • ‘She doesn't go hungry, have to work in a factory, beg at the bank, give up the high heels or buy economy margarine.’
      • ‘Unlike most economy cars, four tall adults fit easily and comfortably into the Mazda3.’
      • ‘That's when you stop buying premium cuts from Sainsbury's and force-feed yourself a grisly tinned economy brand.’
      • ‘There are also a number of different economy rooms.’
      • ‘That included a huge family cauliflower for 99p and a pack of four rather than two economy kitchen towels.’
    2. 2.2 Sparing or careful use of something:
      ‘a technique based on economy of effort’
      • ‘Despite his miss, Sheringham was still one of the better players in claret and blue, achieved, as always, with great economy of effort.’
      • ‘What marks out Benaud's commentary is not just his absolute economy of words, but his unerring eye for a story.’
      • ‘He was known for his economy of words, and for his ability to let the pictures do the work.’
      • ‘Skill, in any sport, is the ability of the player to execute a technique with economy of effort.’
      thrift, providence, prudence, thriftiness, canniness, carefulness, care, good management, good husbandry, careful budgeting, economizing, saving, scrimping and saving, scrimping, restraint, frugality, fuel-saving, abstemiousness
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3usually economies[count noun] A financial saving:
      ‘there were many economies to be made by giving up our London offices’
      reduction, cut, decrease
      economizing, frugality, thrift, thriftiness, retrenchment, cutting back, belt-tightening, penny-pinching
      View synonyms
  • 3The cheapest class of air or rail travel:

    ‘we flew economy’
    • ‘Business travellers preferred Swissair for its economy class.’
    • ‘Like low-cost carriers, British European will offer discounted seats, as well as charging passengers for drinks in the economy class, and selling more tickets over the internet.’
    • ‘And despite his meteoric rise through the ranks, the teenager flies economy class and remains a long way from a world ranking that would command appearance fees from tournament promoters.’
    • ‘Clooney, who reputedly flew in on economy class unannounced, was merely making a pit stop to check on his investment.’
    • ‘To this end, its executives decided to fly in economy class on short business trips, and to hold video conferences whenever possible.’
    • ‘The two of them quickly left the bathroom, greeted back into the economy class by general, but impressive pandemonium.’
    • ‘Another year and she would move from flying economy class to business class.’
    • ‘But Malaysia stands alone among the airlines flying here to score a marvellous five stars for its economy class long haul seating.’
    • ‘He regularly uses public transport and flies economy class.’
    • ‘Those travelling in the executive class will have to opt for any one of the three items being provided in the first class, while those travelling in the economy class will have an option of only two items.’
    • ‘Former spend-happy bankers, executives and traders are counting their dimes and travelling economy class.’
    • ‘I still travel economy class, I talk with the people around me.’
    • ‘The cost of his round-trip economy class ticket was only $570 whereas the one-way 20 kg surcharge amounted to no less than $700.’
    • ‘Feeling a little awkward, she proceeded to the economy class of the aircraft.’
    • ‘Of course, travelling economy class also means no luxurious restaurant car.’
    • ‘As you probably know, the seats are really not a lot wider than those from economy class on the planes flying inside Europe.’
    • ‘He added the risk was equal for those travelling in first class as those in economy class.’
    • ‘It was my first time taking business class instead of economy class.’
    • ‘Although he only has an economy class ticket he planks himself down in First Class and, despite the efforts of the steward, refuses to move.’
    • ‘In our case, people were pushed into economy class and executive class was totally empty.’

Phrases

  • economy of scale

    • A proportionate saving in costs gained by an increased level of production:

      ‘mergers may lead to economies of scale’
      • ‘Where there were few opportunities for economies of scale in production, brands had little role to play.’
      • ‘Ford inaugurated the single-model car, which was both technologically advanced and inexpensive to buy, thanks to mass production and the economy of scale.’
      • ‘After that, they have to start going so far afield to procure corn that the extra transportation costs offset any gains from economy of scale in the processing operation.’
      • ‘It just needs to take market share, gain economies of scale, and grow profitably.’
      • ‘They don't benefit from economies of scale because their costs increase as they grow.’
      • ‘He called for regional and local certification so that farmers could enjoy economies of scale in production.’
      • ‘That means companies that serve the market gain vast manufacturing economies of scale.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, parts producers cannot use the economies of scale to build businesses and create jobs.’
      • ‘It could drive future sales and profits ahead through economies of scale and market share gains from competitive pricing.’
      • ‘They have total vertical integration and all of the costs savings that go with that in addition to economies of scale.’
  • economy of scope

    • A proportionate saving gained by producing two or more distinct goods, when the cost of doing so is less than that of producing each separately.

      • ‘To the extent that a pair of business lines shares economies of scope, standard economic theory suggests that they will be combined.’
      • ‘To determine the impact of economies of scope we constructed two measures of plant complexity.’
      • ‘Specifically, a model with a greater number of extension outputs might reveal the presence of economies of scope between extension and research that our model does not reveal.’
      • ‘Most empirical studies - which mainly refer to the United States - have also failed to find economies of scope in the banking industry.’
      • ‘There is a potential after the next election that we might get a change in cross-media laws, in which case Fairfax will have to be fairly nimble, and look to acquire other businesses that'll give it economies of scope.’
      • ‘They interpret the negative results for bidders to mean that any benefits from economies of scope in the acquisitions are totally reflected in the offering prices banks paid to target firms.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the Samsung network has a long way to go in order to create a significant advantage deriving from the economies of scope expected from such networking.’
      • ‘This permits the researcher to then estimate whether production of these outputs is characterized by general or specific economies of scale or economies of scope.’
      • ‘These problems seem to have been compounded by the lack of economies of scope for the drug.’

Origin

Late 15th century (in the sense ‘management of material resources’): from French économie, or via Latin from Greek oikonomia household management, based on oikos house + nemein manage. Current senses date from the 17th century.

Pronunciation:

economy

/ɪˈkɒnəmi/