The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
economy \e*con"o*my\ ([-e]*k[o^]n"[-o]*m[y^]), n.; pl.
Economies ([-e]*k[o^]n"[-o]*m[i^]z). [F. ['e]conomie, L.
oeconomia household management, fr. Gr. o'ikonomi`a, fr.
o'ikono`mos one managing a household; o'i^kos house (akin to
L. vicus village, E. vicinity) + no`mos usage, law, rule, fr.
ne`mein to distribute, manage. See Vicinity, Nomad.]
1. The management of domestic affairs; the regulation and
government of household matters; especially as they
concern expense or disbursement; as, a careful economy.
Himself busy in charge of the household economies.
2. Orderly arrangement and management of the internal affairs
of a state or of any establishment kept up by production
and consumption; esp., such management as directly
concerns wealth; as, political economy.
3. The system of rules and regulations by which anything is
managed; orderly system of regulating the distribution and
uses of parts, conceived as the result of wise and
economical adaptation in the author, whether human or
divine; as, the animal or vegetable economy; the economy
of a poem; the Jewish economy.
The position which they [the verb and adjective]
hold in the general economy of language. --Earle.
In the Greek poets, as also in Plautus, we shall see
the economy . . . of poems better observed than in
Terence. --B. Jonson.
The Jews already had a Sabbath, which, as citizens
and subjects of that economy, they were obliged to
4. Thrifty and frugal housekeeping; management without loss
or waste; frugality in expenditure; prudence and
disposition to save; as, a housekeeper accustomed to
economy but not to parsimony.
Political economy. See under Political.
Syn: Economy, Frugality, Parsimony. Economy avoids all
waste and extravagance, and applies money to the best
advantage; frugality cuts off indulgences, and proceeds
on a system of saving. The latter conveys the idea of
not using or spending superfluously, and is opposed to
lavishness or profusion. Frugality is usually applied to
matters of consumption, and commonly points to
simplicity of manners; parsimony is frugality carried to
an extreme, involving meanness of spirit, and a sordid
mode of living. Economy is a virtue, and parsimony a
I have no other notion of economy than that it is
the parent to liberty and ease. --Swift.
The father was more given to frugality, and the
son to riotousness [luxuriousness]. --Golding.