1530s, "household management," from Latin oeconomia (source of French économie, Spanish economia, German Ökonomie, etc.), from Greek oikonomia "household management, thrift," from oikonomos "manager, steward," from oikos "house, abode, dwelling" (cognate with Latin vicus "district," vicinus "near;" Old English wic "dwelling, village," from PIE root *weik- (1) "clan") + nomos "managing," from nemein "manage" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). Meaning "frugality, judicious use of resources" is from 1660s. The sense of "wealth and resources of a country" (short for political economy) is from 1650s.
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