Definition of subsidy in English:


Syllabification: sub·si·dy
Pronunciation: /ˈsəbsidē

noun (plural subsidies)

  • 1A sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive: a farm subsidy they disdain government subsidy
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    • 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 arts organization or other undertaking held to be in the public interest.
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    • 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.
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    • 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, handout; backing, support, sponsorship, finance, funding
    formal benefaction
  • 2 historical A parliamentary grant to the sovereign for state needs.
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    • 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.
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    • 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'.

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