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See also: e-conomy


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Borrowed from Latin oeconomia, from Ancient Greek οἰκονομία (oikonomía, management of a household, administration), from οἶκος (oîkos, house) + νέμω (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.



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economy (plural economies)

  1. Effective management of the resources of a community or system.
  2. Collective focus of the study of money, currency and trade, and the efficient use of resources.
  3. Frugal use of resources.
    • Jonathan Swift
      I have no other notion of economy than that it is the parent to liberty and ease.
  4. The system of production and distribution and consumption. The overall measure of a currency system; as the national economy.
    • 2013 August 31, “Horns of a trilemma”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8851:
      An economy open to free movement of capital can keep a fixed exchange rate, for example, only by subjugating monetary-policy goals to its defence—by raising interest rates sharply, say, when capital outflows put downward pressure on the currency. Yet the trilemma also implies that an economy can enjoy both free capital flows and an independent monetary policy, so long as it gives up worrying about its exchange rate.
  5. (theology) The method of divine government of the world.
  6. (archaic) Management of one’s residency.

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economy (not comparable)

  1. Cheap to run; using minimal resources; representing good value for money.
    "He bought an economy car."
    "Economy size".