Definition: Industry

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English industry, industrie, from Old French industrie, from Latin industria (diligence, activity, industry), from industrius (diligent, active, zealous), from Old Latin indostruus (diligent, active); origin unknown. Perhaps from indu (in) + ūst-, ūstr-, stem of ūrō (burn, burn up, consume), verb, related to Old High German ūstrī (industry), Old English andūstrian (to hate, detest, literally to be consumed with zeal).


industry (countable and uncountable, plural industries)

  1. (uncountable) The tendency to work persistently. Diligence.
    Over the years, their industry and business sense made them wealthy.
  2. (countable, business, economics) Businesses of the same type, considered as a whole. Trade.
    The software and tourism industries continue to grow, while the steel industry remains troubled.
    The music industry has changed drastically thanks to streaming services and digital downloads replacing the audio CD.
  3. (uncountable, economics) Businesses that produce goods as opposed to services.
  4. (in the singular, economics) The sector of the economy consisting of large-scale enterprises.
    There used to be a lot of industry around here, but now the economy depends on tourism.

Derived terms

  • automotive industry
  • cottage industry
  • film industry
  • finance industry
  • food services industry
  • health care industry
  • heavy industry
  • service industry
  • software industry

Related terms

  • industrial
  • industrious


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