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From Ancient Greek συνεργία (sunergía, joint work, assistance, help), from συνεργός (sunergós, working together), from σύν (sún, together) + ἔργον (érgon, work).



synergy (plural synergies)

  1. (systems theory) Behavior of a system that cannot be predicted by the behavior of its parts.
    • 1968, Buckminster Fuller, “General Systems Theory”, in Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, page 79:
      Since synergy is the only word in our language meaning behavior of wholes unpredicted by behavior of their parts, it is clear that society does not think there are behaviors of whole systems unpredicted by their separate parts. This means that society's formally-accredited thoughts and ways of accrediting others are grossly inadequate in comprehending the non-conceptual qualities of the scenario “universal evolution.”
  2. (medicine) Combined action; the combined healthy action of every organ of a particular system
    the digestive synergy
  3. (pharmacology) An interaction between drugs where the effects are stronger than their mere sum.
  4. Benefits resulting from combining two different groups, people, objects or processes.

Usage notes[edit]

Synergy is frequently dismissed as business jargon.


Related terms[edit]


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