What do we call entities like Wall Street? I know the World Bank is an institution, same for the IMF, but what about Wall Street? What do we call such an entity? I can't think of any word.

  • Are you specifically thinking about financial "entities"? Or more widely about places giving their names to industries?
    – jonathanjo
    Aug 21, 2019 at 20:28
  • It is metaphorically an entity. I just do not understand why no one got this.
    – Lambie
    Aug 22, 2019 at 14:19

3 Answers 3


Wall Street isn't an entity in any unified sense--it's a place name used as a metonym for American financial markets/big business.


One possibility is to call it the "financial sector" or the "financial market", as it represents a collective of various business entities that trade in a wide range of financial products as well as the markets where the trading takes place. It doesn't matter if these businesses are physically located on the actual Wall Street or not -- it's still fine to refer to all of them as part of the same conceptual whole.

In addition it's the only entity of this kind (in the USA) with a distinctive name in English. Other markets exist in other countries, but these tend to be referred to by location rather than name. Because it's unique there is no need to have a general term for similar entities.

As another example: in the United States, the business of producing films is collectively referred to as "Hollywood", even though it represents a diverse group of related industries from all around the world, and not just those physically located in the city of Hollywood, California. In the same way you could call this the "entertainment sector", although that would encompass a lot more than just film.

  • 2
    the City? "There is a similar area in New York City called Wall Street" (LDOCE5) The City of London is widely referred to simply as the City (differentiated from the phrase "the city of London" by capitalising City) and is also colloquially known as the Square Mile. Both of these terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's trading and financial services industries. Aug 19, 2019 at 23:34
  • @MichaelLogin -- "The City" can refer to a regionally important city, such as San Francisco. Places known as "The City" typically are famous for their high-culture amenities, such as symphonies, operas, ballets, zoos, cathedrals, and museums. Wooden carousels, famous bridges, quaint transportation methods, and skating rinks are bonuses.
    – Jasper
    Aug 20, 2019 at 0:24
  • @Jasper -- In the London area, we always speak of the metropolitan city as "London". When we say the "City", we either mean City of London (a small area in the east of metropolitan London) or the financial markets. A person who lives in a neighbouring county says "I'm going to London" they mean the metropolis, and "to the City" if they mean the small portion known for its financial sector. It is a source of constant confusion for tourists. In contrast to New York, where a suburban person often says "Go into the city" to mean any part of New York City.
    – jonathanjo
    Aug 20, 2019 at 10:18
  • @Jasper ... and to add to the confusion, the high culture things are concentrated in the centre-west of the metropolis, in an area normally called "town". Hence: "I've got to go to London tomorrow, first to the City to see my broker, then into town for the theatre." This is why "downtown" is so hard to translate from American to British English.
    – jonathanjo
    Aug 20, 2019 at 10:23
  • I'm afraid I have to disagree with "In addition it's the only entity of this time with a distinctive name in English." As Michael Logan says above, and per my comments, we have "The City" in London. Outside of the finance industry, in the UK we also have "Downing Street" (=Central government) "Whitehall" (=Civil Service), "Fleet Street" (=the national press) "Wardour Street" (=TV and film post production), "Savile Row" (=tailoring industry) all of which are metonyms based on places; "Bay Street" (=Canadian finance: "the end of the Bay Street business suit as we know it", Toronto Star).
    – jonathanjo
    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:07

Entities like Wall Street are called:

financial centers or financial centres or financial hubs.

From Investopedia

"What Makes a City a Financial Hub? A financial center, or a financial hub, refers to a city with a strategic location, leading financial institutions, reputed stock exchanges, a dense concentration of public and private banks and trading and insurance companies. In addition, these hubs are equipped with first-class infrastructure, communications, and commercial systems, and there is a transparent and sound legal and regulatory regime backed by a stable political system. Such cities are favorable destinations for professionals because of the high living standards they offer along with immense growth opportunities."

financial center or hub

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