From 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.
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            Himself busy in charge of the household economies.
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   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.
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   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.
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            The position which they [the verb and adjective]
            hold in the general economy of language. --Earle.
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            In the Greek poets, as also in Plautus, we shall see
            the economy . . . of poems better observed than in
            Terence.                              --B. Jonson.
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            The Jews already had a Sabbath, which, as citizens
            and subjects of that economy, they were obliged to
            keep.                                 --Paley.
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   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.
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   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
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              I have no other notion of economy than that it is
              the parent to liberty and ease.     --Swift.
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              The father was more given to frugality, and the
              son to riotousness [luxuriousness]. --Golding.
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