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economy

e·con·o·my / iˈkänəmē/ • n. (pl. -mies) 1. the wealth and resources of a country or region, esp. in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services. ∎  a particular system or stage of an economy: a free-market economy. 2. careful management of available resources: even heat distribution and fuel economy. ∎  sparing or careful use of something: economy of words. ∎  (usu. economies) a financial saving: there were many economies to be made by giving up our offices in Manhattan. ∎  (also economy class) the cheapest class of air or rail travel: we flew economy. • adj. (of a product) offering the best value for the money: [in comb.] an economy pack. ∎  designed to be economical to use: an economy car. PHRASES: economy of scale a proportionate saving in costs gained by an increased level of production. economy of scope a proportionate saving gained by producing two or more distinct goods, when the cost of doing so is less than that of producing each separately. ORIGIN: late 15th cent. (in the sense ‘management of material resources’): from French économie, or via Latin from Greek oikonomia ‘household management,’ based on oikos ‘house’ + nemein ‘manage.’ Current senses date from the 17th cent.

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