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economy – Dictionary Definition

The general sense of economy is careful management of resources such as money and materials, so as not to waste them, but the more familiar reference is to a system of producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services.

The word economy derives from Greek oikonomos, “manager of a household,” from oikos, “house.” The earliest meaning of the adjective economical and the noun economics was also in connection with the management of a household. The earliest mention of a nation’s economy was in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, an important work in the history of political economy.

Full Definitions of economy


n the system of production and distribution and consumption

Synonyms: economic system Types: show 8 types… hide 8 types… industrialism

an economic system built on large industries rather than on agriculture or craftsmanship

free enterprise, laissez-faire economy, market economy, private enterprise

an economy that relies chiefly on market forces to allocate goods and resources and to determine prices

mixed economy

an economic system that combines private and state enterprises

non-market economy

an economy that is not a market economy

state capitalism

an economic system that is primarily capitalistic but there is some degree of government ownership of the means of production

state socialism

an economic system in which the government owns most means of production but some degree of private capitalism is allowed

capitalism, capitalist economy

an economic system based on private ownership of capital

managed economy

a non-market economy in which government intervention is important in allocating goods and resources and determining prices

Type of: scheme, system

a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising a unified whole


n frugality in the expenditure of money or resources

n the efficient use of resources

“economy of effort”

Type of: efficiency

skillfulness in avoiding wasted time and effort

n an act of economizing; reduction in cost

“it was a small economy to walk to work every day”

Synonyms: saving Types: curtailment, downsizing, retrenchment

the reduction of expenditures in order to become financially stable

economy of scale

the saving in cost of production that is due to mass production

Type of: action

something done (usually as opposed to something said)


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