capitalism

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English[edit]

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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 ownership of resources or capital.
  2. (economics, uncountable) an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit.
  3. (politics, liberalism, 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.
  4. (economics, liberalism, uncountable) an 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.
  5. (countable) a specific variation or implementation of such a 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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