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What are the connotations of production and manufacturing? In what situation would you prefer one over the other?

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The difference is in how the item in question is produced.

Manufacture

To make or process (a raw material) into a finished product, especially by means of a large-scale industrial operation.

To make or process (a product), especially with the use of industrial machines.

To create, produce, or turn out in a mechanical manner: "His books seem to have been manufactured rather than composed" (Dwight Macdonald).

To concoct or invent; fabricate: manufacture an excuse.

See how industrial machines or mechanical way are explicitly mentioned in every meaning

Production is more general.

The act or process of producing: timber used for the production of lumber and paper.

The fact or process of being produced: a movie going into production.

The creation of value or wealth by producing goods and services.

The total output, as of a commodity: increased production at the plant.

Something produced; a product: "Of all the productions of land, milk is perhaps the most perishable" (Adam Smith).

A work of art or literature.

A work produced for the stage, screen, television, or radio.

A staging or presentation of a theatrical work: a new Broadway production of a musical.

A situation or display that is exaggerated or unduly complicated: made a production out of the birthday party.

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Thank you, Philoto. –  moi Aug 30 '11 at 9:59
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