Meaning of “cottage industry” in the English Dictionary

"cottage industry" in English

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cottage industrynoun [ C ]

uk /ˌkɒt.ɪdʒ ˈɪn.də.stri/ us /ˌkɑː.t̬ɪdʒ ˈɪn.də.stri/

Examples from literature

  • Ours was essentially the cottage industry, and our artisans still work in their own huts, more or less out of touch with the commercial world. 
  • Out in the country again, going westwards, the cottage industry of weaving is apparent in nearly every cottage one sees. 
  • The cottage industry, so vital for India's existence, has been ruined by incredibly heartless and inhuman processes as described by English witnesses. 
  • Wherever the railroad has penetrated a country it has withered the ancient cottage industries of our land. 

(Definition of “cottage industry” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"cottage industry" in Business English

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cottage industrynoun [ C ]

uk us

WORKPLACE a small business in which people work in their own homes:

They make and market beeswax cosmetics products as a cottage industry.
Traditional cottage industries such as handicrafts continue to play a role in the economies of all Asian countries.

used to talk about a business activity in which there are many individuals or small companies working in ways that are unusual for larger companies:

Turning what was basically a cottage industry into a thriving business took energy and determination.
At first computer games were produced by a cottage industry of home programmers.

(Definition of “cottage industry” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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