If we engraft the current meaning of the word "economy" (the avoiding of waste) upon its etymological meaning (the administration of a household), we shall arrive at "the administration of the affairs and resources of a household in such a manner as to avoid waste and secure efficiency" as our conception of "Economy." "Political" Economy would, by analogy, indicate the administration, in the like manner, of the affairs and resources of a State, regarded as an extended household or community, and regulated by a central authority; and the study of Political Economy would be the study of the principles on which the resources of a community should be so regulated and administered as to secure the communal ends without waste.
Philip Wicksteed, "Introductory: Administration of Resources and Choice Between Alternatives. Price and the Relative Scale," ch. 1 of The Common Sense of Political Economy, Book I, Systematic and Constructive, contained in ed. Lionel Robbins, The Common Sense of Political Economy and Selected Papers and Reviews on Economic Theory by Philip Wicksteed vol. I (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul LTD, 1933, 1957), p. 14.