Definition of subsidy in English:


nounPlural subsidies

  • 1A sum of money granted by the state or a public body to help an industry or business keep the price of a commodity or service low.

    ‘a farm subsidy’
    mass noun ‘the rail service now operates without subsidy’
    • ‘Government has forsworn prices and incomes policies and cut back subsidies for industry.’
    • ‘If a government has an export subsidy programme, requests for subsidies from different industries will exceed the amount a government can grant.’
    • ‘There will always be an important role for subsidies in farming, to remunerate farmers for environmental services and to assist farming in particularly marginal areas.’
    • ‘Examples of distortions are monopoly rents, hidden subsidies, artificially determined floors and ceilings on input prices.’
    • ‘They therefore supported new industries by granting subsidies, tax exemptions, tariff protection and emergency relief.’
    • ‘Washington is already at work to provide industry subsidies and loan programs, additional tax cuts for both businesses and consumers, and new government spending.’
    • ‘These subsidies distort commodity prices and undercut U.S. exporters in key markets around the world.’
    • ‘Scrap all import tariffs and all industry subsidies.’
    • ‘Agricultural policy should be shifted from price subsidies to income transfers, with these transfers turned into a national obligation, not a union one.’
    • ‘There was also more emphasis on industry and some of Whitaker's suggested cuts in areas such as farm price subsidies and the rural electrification programme were not implemented.’
    • ‘In the United States, it is often labor unions that call for tariffs and subsidies to protect unionized industries.’
    • ‘The authors are right to argue that subsidies to businesses and agriculture should be eliminated.’
    • ‘One critical issue is Indonesia's budget-draining oil subsidies - price breaks given to families and businesses when oil prices are high.’
    • ‘But it is clear that encouraging commodity production with price subsidies has not kept people in rural areas.’
    • ‘Export subsidies lower the world price at which domestic industries are willing to sell various quantities of their product.’
    • ‘Brazil warns there may be no advance on other issues if the developed nations do not accept changes in policies to grant large subsidies to their farmers.’
    • ‘The foot-and-mouth epidemic gave us a glimpse of the trauma that agriculture will go through in the next decade as incomes fall, subsidies go and farming, as an industry, shrinks further.’
    • ‘At the end, he argues that a good progressive conservative government could cut useless measures like corporate subsidies, farm subsidies, and needless tariffs.’
    • ‘Some £3 billion a year goes on farming in direct subsidies, with price intervention payments accounting for more.’
    • ‘Individual governments have also supported a variety of other industries through nationalization, subsidies, and special incentives.’
    1. 1.1 A sum of money granted to support an undertaking held to be in the public interest.
      ‘she was anxious about her Arts Council subsidy’
      mass noun ‘the arts continued to thrive through public subsidy’
      • ‘Enticed by public subsidies, Scotland is now playing host to a ‘wind rush’ with developers preparing to build a chain of up to 70 wind farms across the country.’
      • ‘He said it might be hard for the rail industry to find more money because its public subsidy had risen from £950m in 1990 to £3.8bn this year.’
      • ‘The centre also manages support programmes for people with disabilities as well as providing direct financial support and childcare subsidies.’
      • ‘His point is that tuition can rise as a result of either an increase in cost or a decline in third-party support, either private or public subsidies.’
      • ‘Within a regime of cuts in the post-war Welfare State, the withdrawal of state subsidies and support, and low public expenditure.’
      • ‘And the money will come from higher public subsidies and fares.’
      • ‘Make the payment of public transport subsidies dependent on safe, efficient and timely service.’
      • ‘Use public transport - and press for public subsidies for it.’
      • ‘Railtrack has been forced to honour its responsibilities to the rail user - sort of - but only after veiled threats that government might take an equity stake in return for public subsidies.’
      • ‘Therefore, such operations cannot affect the debit side of the national budget, which is made up of allocations for social benefits, state subsidies, and support payments.’
      • ‘However, the ‘funds’ shouldn't be fully understood as public subsidies because the Film Council does expect a return on its investment.’
      • ‘Public subsidy will total £2.43 bn by the end of the franchise, which will cover more than 2,000 services.’
      • ‘For everything else they are reducing the public subsidy.’
      • ‘Some projects rely on public subsidies to fund even their core activities.’
      • ‘The fact is that private and corporate money has overtaken public subsidy in festival funding.’
      • ‘Similarly, low-income areas often are eligible for public subsidies from regional policy funds or urban policy schemes.’
      • ‘In trying to make their public subsidy of culture more responsive to modern cultural tastes, the current government gets accused of ‘plebeianism’.’
      • ‘To support ticket subsidies for school children and senior citizens to attend area performances and exhibitions.’
      • ‘I'm all for bribing people out of their cars and into public transport by subsidies and freebies, to lessen the road congestion.’
      • ‘They contend that corporations are taking advantage of public resources and subsidies while driving up the price of water and cutting off the poorest users.’
      funds, assets, money, capital, resources, cash, wealth, reserves, wherewithal, revenue, income, stock
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    2. 1.2 A grant or contribution of money.
      ‘the position is generously rewarded and benefits include a mortgage subsidy’
      ‘the country's economy is near to collapse after the end of Soviet subsidies’
      • ‘Immigrants could buy 25 acre parcels at very liberal mortgage rates and various subsidies were also available.’
      • ‘Other benefits included mortgage subsidies, helping veterans to buy homes with relative ease.’
      • ‘We will bridge this, not by words but by deeds; not by subsidies but from investment; not by rhetoric but by technology.’
      • ‘Other plans include giving subsidies to tighten security and equip post offices with computers so that customers can surf the internet.’
      • ‘Members also have access to mortgage subsidies through the Defence Home Owners Scheme.’
      grant, allowance, endowment, contribution, donation, bursary, gift, present, investment, bestowal, benefaction, allocation, allotment, handout
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  • 2historical A parliamentary grant to the sovereign for state needs.

    • ‘Thirdly, the cost of the war was unprecedented in English history: even with parliamentary subsidies, it could only be met by borrowing and by sales of Crown lands.’
    • ‘Thus, although the debts of the Irish administration were a drop in the ocean of English public finance, they had to be met by Irish parliamentary subsidies.’
    • ‘In return for granting subsidies, Parliament demanded ever new powers from the monarchy.’
    1. 2.1 A tax levied on a particular occasion.
      • ‘First, he believed that, given how high rents were in many communities, the lower-middle class deserved some tax subsidies.’
      • ‘Many expatriate pensioners do not realise housing and council tax subsidies and disability costs are not payable outside the UK.’
      • ‘The GOP has rejected that approach as too bureaucratic and pushed for an alternative that would give individuals tax credits and other subsidies to buy their own insurance.’
      • ‘We are headed toward completely socialized medicine - and, if we take indirect tax subsidies into account, we're already halfway there.’
      • ‘The EU is also set to levy up to $4bn of tariff increases on US products in a dispute over tax subsidies to the foreign sales of US companies.’


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French subsidie, from Latin subsidium ‘assistance’.