economic

economic
economic, economical
1. These are both adjectives answering to the word economy: economic in the meanings ‘relating to economics’ and ‘frugal, characterized by good economy’, and economical in the meaning ‘sparing in the use of resources’. An economic cost is one that is practical and makes good business sense, whereas an economical cost is one that is modest and not excessive.
2. The phrase economical with the truth, meaning ‘saying just as much as is needed or relevant’, is a political cliché of our times, recalling earlier notions of Burke and others that ‘in the exercise of all virtues, there is an economy of truth’. In its present form it alludes to events of 1986, when the British Cabinet Secretary Sir Robert Armstrong, giving evidence during the ‘Spycatcher’ trial (in which the British government sought to prevent the publication of a book of that name by a former MI5 employee), referred to a former statement in the following way: It contains a misleading impression, not a lie. It was being economical with the truth. Phrases such as this are not easily forgotten, and allusive references abound, e.g.:

• Contrast Lord Butler's forensic exposure of intelligence failures this week with the smoothly arrogant evidence in defence of the Iraq dossier presented to the Hutton report last year, and you have a picture, if not of deception, then of men who were being severely economical with the truth —Scotland on Sunday, 2004.


Modern English usage. 2014.

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  • economic — ec‧o‧nom‧ic [ˌekəˈnɒmɪk◂, ˌiː ǁ ˈnɑː ] adjective [only before a noun] 1. ECONOMICS COMMERCE relating to or involving economics, money, finance, industry, trade etc: • The economic climate (= general state of the economy ) is not …   Financial and business terms

  • economic — I adjective cost effective, cost reducing, economical, labor saving, money saving, time saving, thrifty associated concepts: economic activity, economic conditions, economic depression, economic groups, economic factors, economic interest,… …   Law dictionary

  • Economic — E co*nom ic (?; 277), Economical E co*nom ic*al, a. [F. [ e]conomique, L. oeconomicus orderly, methodical, Gr. ? economical. See {Economy}.] 1. Pertaining to the household; domestic. In this economical misfortune [of ill assorted matrimony.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • economic — ECONÓMIC, Ă, economici, ce, adj. 1. Care aparţine economiei, privitor la economie; economicesc. 2. (Şi adv.) Care cere puţine cheltuieli, care permite economii; ieftin, convenabil, economicos. – Din fr. économique. Trimis de LauraGellner,… …   Dicționar Român

  • economic — [ek΄ə näm′ik, ē΄kənäm′ik] adj. [L oeconomicus < Gr oikonomia: see ECONOMY] 1. of or having to do with the management of the income, expenditures, etc. of a household, business, community, or government 2. of or having to do with the production …   English World dictionary

  • economic — 1590s, pertaining to management of a household, perhaps shortened from ECONOMICAL (Cf. economical) or from Fr. économique or directly from L. oeconomicus of domestic economy, from Gk. oikonomikos practiced in the management of a household or… …   Etymology dictionary

  • economic — [adj] business related; financial bread and butter*, budgetary, commercial, fiscal, industrial, material, mercantile, monetary, money making, pecuniary, productive, profitable, profit making, remunerative, solvent, viable; concepts 334,536 …   New thesaurus

  • economic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) relating to economics or the economy. 2) justified in terms of profitability …   English terms dictionary

  • economic — /ek euh nom ik, ee keuh /, adj. 1. pertaining to the production, distribution, and use of income, wealth, and commodities. 2. of or pertaining to the science of economics. 3. pertaining to an economy, or system of organization or operation, esp.… …   Universalium

  • economic — adjective 1 (only before noun) connected with trade, industry, and the management of money: strategies to promote economic growth | It makes no economic sense at all! | economic climate (=conditions affecting trade, industry, and business) 2 an… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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