It is not only customary but also logical to begin the study of any subject with its definition. But, when we come to economics, we are seriously handicapped in this regard, as there is neither a single comprehensive definition of the subject nor a general agreement among economists on the appropriateness of a particular definition. Economics being a developing and dynamic subject, its true range is not yet fixed. It cannot be fixed, either. This is because economics develops changes with time; and time is never steady or stern. Things change with time, so does economics: its scope-boundaries of the subject-matter, range, method and mode of analysis, approach to thinking on economic ideas and institutions, their role and significance, everything changes when time moves. Perhaps, for these reasons, economists like Hutchinson and Myrdal are of the opinion that economists need to be rigid regarding the precise definition of economics, since a mere definition is of little use in explaining and solving the economic problems faced by man in his life.
This, however, does not mean that one can remain silent on the question of defining economics. An attempt to provide a systematic, comprehensive and analytical definition of the subject is essential to know its nature, scope, significance and limitations. "Definition", as Erich Roll says, "is an essential part of any systematic discipline and the limits of field which it sets out to cultivate should be clearly marked. It is by definition that we assign to each discipline its room in the building of knowledge".