In"dus*try (?), n.; pl. Industries (#). [L. industria, cf. industrius diligent; of uncertain origin: cf. F. industrie.]
Habitual diligence in any employment or pursuit, either bodily or mental; steady attention to business; assiduity; -- opposed to sloth and idleness; as, industry pays debts, while idleness or despair will increase them.
We are more industrious than our forefathers, because in the present times the funds destined for the maintenance of industry are much greater in proportion to those which are likely to be employed in the maintenance of idleness, than they were two or three centuries ago.
Any department or branch of art, occupation, or business; especially, one which employs much labor and capital and is a distinct branch of trade; as, the sugar industry; the iron industry; the cotton industry.
3. Polit. Econ.
Human exertion of any kind employed for the creation of value, and regarded by some as a species of capital or wealth; labor.
Syn. -- Diligence; assiduity; perseverance; activity; laboriousness; attention. See Diligence.
© Webster 1913.