Definition: Economy

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English yconomye, yconomy, borrowed via Old French or Medieval Latin from Latin oeconomia, from Ancient Greek οἰκονομία or oikonomía (management of a household, administration), from οἶκος or oîkos (house) + νέμω or némō (distribute, allocate) (surface analysis eco- + -nomy). The first recorded sense of the word economy, found in a work possibly composed in 1440, is “the management of economic affairs,” in this case, of a monastery.


economy (countable and uncountable, plural economies)

  1. Effective management of a community or system, or especially its resources.
  2. The study of money, currency and trade, and the efficient use of resources.
  3. Frugal use of resources.
    economy of word
  4. The system of production and distribution and consumption. The overall measure of a currency system; as the national economy.
    Many newspapers kept a close eye on the American economy, but only started publishing information about the cryptocurrency economy in the mid 2010s despite it having been invented in 2009.
  5. (theology) The method of divine government of the world.
  6. The part of a commercial passenger airplane or train reserved for those paying the lower standard fares; economy class.

Derived terms

  • circular economy
  • economic
  • economical
  • economist
  • gift economy
  • gig economy
  • market economy
  • mixed economy
  • natural economy
  • peer-to-peer economy
  • service economy
  • token economy
  • transition economy

Related terms


economy (not comparable)

  1. Cheap to run; using minimal resources; representing good value for money; economical.
    He bought an economy car.
    We stayed in an economy lodge because it was cheaper than a hotel.


economy (not comparable)

  1. In or via the part of a commercial passenger airplane reserved for those paying the lower standard fares.
    Numerous web sites have tips on how to fly economy.


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