WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
sub•si•dy /ˈsʌbsɪdi/USA pronunciation   n. [countable],pl. -dies. 
  1. Governmenta direct payment of money made by a government to a private commercial business or industry, an individual, or another government:The subsidies paid to the rice farmers guarantee that the farmer receives a high price without the consumer having to pay a high price, too.
  2. Governmentany grant or contribution of money.
See -sid-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
sub•si•dy  (subsi dē), 
n., pl. -dies. 
  1. Business, Governmenta direct pecuniary aid furnished by a government to a private industrial undertaking, a charity organization, or the like.
  2. Business, Governmenta sum paid, often in accordance with a treaty, by one government to another to secure some service in return.
  3. Governmenta grant or contribution of money.
  4. British Terms, World Historymoney formerly granted by the English Parliament to the crown for special needs.
  • Latin subsidium auxiliary force, reserve, help, equivalent. to sub- sub- + sid-, combining form of sedēre to sit1 + -ium -ium
  • Anglo-French
  • Middle English subsidie 1325–75
1 . Subsidy, subvention are both grants of money, especially governmental, to aid private undertakings. A subsidy is usually given to promote commercial enterprise:a subsidy to manufacturers during a war.A subvention is usually a grant to stimulate enterprises connected with science and the arts:a subvention to a research chemist by a major company.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

subsidy /ˈsʌbsɪdɪ/ n ( pl -dies)
  1. a financial aid supplied by a government, as to industry, for reasons of public welfare, the balance of payments, etc
  2. a financial grant made originally for special purposes by Parliament to the Crown
  3. any monetary contribution, grant, or aid
Etymology: 14th Century: from Anglo-Norman subsidie, from Latin subsidium assistance, from subsidēre to remain, from sub- down + sedēre to sit

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