from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A situation or type of situation in which a shared resource that has no owner (such as the atmosphere or an ocean) is used in an unmanaged way by a number of participants, resulting in the unintended ruin or total consumption of that resource; the theory that situations of this type are a serious social problem.
Reportedly coined in 1968 by U.S. ecologist Garrett Hardin. (Wiktionary)
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