ETYM Old Fren. alouance.
1. An amount allowed or granted (as during a given period):.
2. A sum granted as reimbursement for expenses.
3. An amount added or deducted on the basis of qualifying circumstances; SYN. adjustment.
4. A permissible difference; SYN. leeway, margin, tolerance.
5. The act of allowing.
ETYM Latin subsidium the troops stationed in reserve in the third line of battlem reserve, support, help, from subsidere to sit down, lie in wait: cf. French subside. Related to Subside.
A grant paid by a government to an enterprise that benefits the public.
Government payment or concession granted to a state or private company, or an individual. A subsidy may be provided to keep prices down, to stimulate the market for a particular product, or because it is perceived to be in the public interest.
The payment of subsidies may distort the market, create shortages, reduce efficiency, or waste resources that could be used more beneficially elsewhere. Export subsidies are usually condemned because they represent unfair competition.
Many countries provide subsidies for transport systems and public utilities such as water, gas, and electricity supplies.
Subsidies are also given for art, science, and religion when they cannot be self-supporting to the standards perceived desirable.