from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The condition or quality of being external or externalized.
  • noun Something that is external.
  • noun A cost or benefit that affects people other than those involved in the economic activity that produced it and that is not reflected in prices.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state of being external.
  • noun Superficiality.
  • noun An external; an outward rite, ceremony, or form.
  • noun Undue regard to externals; the sacrifice of substance to form.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Metaph.) State of being external; exteriority.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The state of being external or externalized.
  • noun countable A thing that is external relative to something else.
  • noun economics, countable An impact, positive or negative, on any party not involved in a given economic transaction or act.

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

  • noun the quality or state of being outside or directed toward or relating to the outside or exterior


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • basically, an eternality is any third party the corporation can get to pick up the liabilities accrued by the corporation --- generally the public. In this way, the corporation gets the profits but the public gets the losses.

    January 2, 2007

  • In an efficient free market, any factor not encapsulated in the price mechanism is an "externality". e.g. the pollution produced by a firm (negative externality), the pollination of a neighbouring orchard by bees (positive externality).

    September 24, 2007