Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
  • n. Cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Behavior of a system that cannot be predicted by the behavior of its parts.
  • n. Combined action; the combined healthy action of every organ of a particular system; as, the digestive synergy.
  • n. An interaction between drugs where the effects are stronger than their mere sum.
  • n. Benefits resulting from combining two different groups, people, objects or processes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Combined action.
  • n. An effect of the interaction of the actions of two agents such that the result of the combined action is greater than expected as a simple additive combination of the two agents acting separately; -- also called synergism.. Opposite to antagonism.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A correlation or concourse of action between different organs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the working together of two things (muscles or drugs for example) to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects

Etymologies

From Greek sunergiā, cooperation, from sunergos, working together; see synergism.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek συνεργία (sunergia, "joint work, assistance, help"), from συνεργός (sunergos, "working together"), from σύν (sun, "together") + ἔργον (ergon, "work"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • (n): a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings).
    This definition is a nonsense. It's logic has the assumption that human beings are not a part of nature. Human beings are a part of nature and if human beings intend something then it follows that it exists in or is produced by nature. Goodnight.

    August 23, 2008

  • Ditto here. I used to *like* the word. Now I practically wince when I hear it. Sigh....

    March 26, 2007

  • I agree, but it seems to be one of my boss's favorite words, so I must put up with it.

    March 22, 2007

  • this word is absolutey meaningless nowadays. it takes the worst of politics and makes it sound pseudo-scientific. completely empty and devoid of meaning. if synergy were a person i would kick his/her ass.

    March 22, 2007