capitalism

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French capitalisme (the condition of one who is rich). First used in English by novelist William Thackeray in 1854.

Noun[edit]

capitalism (countable and uncountable, plural capitalisms)

  1. (politics, uncountable) a socio-economic system based on private property rights, including the private ownership of resources or capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of a market unregulated by the state.
  2. (economics, uncountable) a socio-economic system based on the abstraction of resources into the form of privately owned capital, with economic decisions made largely through the operation of a market unregulated by the state.
  3. (countable) a specific variation or implementation of either such socio-economic system.

Quotations[edit]

  • 1855, William Makepeace Thackeray, The Newcomes: memoirs of a most respectable family, volume 2, page 75:
    The Prince de Moncontour took his place with great gravity at the Paris board, whither Barnes made frequent flying visits. The sense of capitalism sobered and dignified Paul de Florac: at the age of five-and-forty he was actually giving up being a young man, and was not ill-pleased at having to enlarge his waistcoats, and to show a little gray in his mustache.

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