subsistence farming

noun
1.
farming whose products are intended to provide for the basic needs of the farmer, with little surplus for marketing.
2.
farming that brings little or no profit to the farmer, allowing only for a marginal livelihood.
Also, subsistence agriculture.


Origin:
1935–40

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
subsistence farming
 
n
a type of farming in which most of the produce (subsistence crop) is consumed by the farmer and his family, leaving little or nothing to be marketed

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

subsistence farming definition


Farming that provides enough food for the farmer and his family but not enough for sale. By comparison, commercial farming is farming that provides products for sale.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Labor is cheap in subsistence agriculture societies.
Small, isolated populations face rapid loss of habitat to subsistence
  agriculture.
Nomadic herding is sometimes considered a form of subsistence agriculture.
Nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture.
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