merchant prince

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

merchant prince (plural merchant princes)

  1. (chiefly historical) One who wields great de facto political power by virtue of his economic assets and control over trade and commerce; a mercantile plutocrat.
    • 1951, Isaac Asimov, Foundation (1974 Panther Books Ltd publication), part V: “The Merchant Princes”, chapter 18, page 189, ¶ 2
      “So then,” said [Ankor] Jael, “you’re establishing a plutocracy. You’re making us a land of traders and merchant princes. Then what of the future?”