Definition of subsidy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsʌbsɪdi/

noun (plural subsidies)

1A sum of money granted by the state or a public body to help an industry or business keep the price of a commodity or service low: a farm subsidy [mass noun]: the rail service now operates without subsidy
More example sentences
  • Government has forsworn prices and incomes policies and cut back subsidies for industry.
  • These subsidies distort commodity prices and undercut U.S. exporters in key markets around the world.
  • But it is clear that encouraging commodity production with price subsidies has not kept people in rural areas.
1.1A sum of money granted to support an undertaking held to be in the public interest: she was anxious about her Arts Council subsidy [mass noun]: the arts continued to thrive through public subsidy
More example sentences
  • Within a regime of cuts in the post-war Welfare State, the withdrawal of state subsidies and support, and low public expenditure.
  • The fact is that private and corporate money has overtaken public subsidy in festival funding.
  • Some projects rely on public subsidies to fund even their core activities.
1.2A grant or contribution of money: the position is generously rewarded and benefits include a mortgage subsidy the country’s economy is near to collapse after the end of Soviet subsidies
More example sentences
  • Other plans include giving subsidies to tighten security and equip post offices with computers so that customers can surf the internet.
  • Members also have access to mortgage subsidies through the Defence Home Owners Scheme.
  • Immigrants could buy 25 acre parcels at very liberal mortgage rates and various subsidies were also available.
grant, allowance, endowment, contribution, donation, bursary, gift, present, investment, bestowal, benefaction, allocation, allotment, handout;
backing, support, aid, assistance, charity, relief, sponsorship, finance, funding, subvention
informal helping hand, leg up
historical alms
rare donative
2 historical A parliamentary grant to the sovereign for state needs.
Example sentences
  • In return for granting subsidies, Parliament demanded ever new powers from the monarchy.
  • Thirdly, the cost of the war was unprecedented in English history: even with parliamentary subsidies, it could only be met by borrowing and by sales of Crown lands.
  • Thus, although the debts of the Irish administration were a drop in the ocean of English public finance, they had to be met by Irish parliamentary subsidies.
2.1A tax levied on a particular occasion.
Example sentences
  • We are headed toward completely socialized medicine - and, if we take indirect tax subsidies into account, we're already halfway there.
  • The GOP has rejected that approach as too bureaucratic and pushed for an alternative that would give individuals tax credits and other subsidies to buy their own insurance.
  • First, he believed that, given how high rents were in many communities, the lower-middle class deserved some tax subsidies.


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French subsidie, from Latin subsidium 'assistance'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sub|sidy

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