laissez faire

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See also: laissez-faire


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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from French laissez faire (leave it be, literally let do).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈlæs.eɪ ˌfeə(ɹ)/, /ˈleɪ.seɪ ˌfeə(ɹ)/
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laissez faire (uncountable)

  1. (economics, politics) A policy of governmental non-interference in economic affairs.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, chapter 9, in Past and Present, New York, N.Y.: William H. Colyer, [], published May 1843, OCLC 10193956, book I (Proem), page 106:
      In brief, all this Mammon-Gospel of Supply-and-demand, Competition, Laissez-faire, and Devil take the hindmost, begins to be one of the shabbiest Gospels ever preached on Earth; or altogether the shabbiest.
  2. A policy of non-interference by authority in any competitive process.



laissez faire (comparative more laissez faire, superlative most laissez faire)

  1. (economics, politics) Practicing or representing governmental noninterference, or minimal interference, especially in economic affairs; pertaining to free-market capitalism.
    I think the city should take a laissez faire approach to this; getting involved would only make things worse.
  2. (economics, politics) Advocating such noninterference.
    The Senator claims to be laissez faire, but he voted in favor of the subsidies.
  3. (economics) Resulting from such noninterference.
    The price ceiling was well below the laissez faire price that demand would have supported, so there were always shortages.
  4. (of a person) Avoiding interference in other people's affairs; choosing to live and let live.


See also[edit]



laissez faire m (uncountable)

  1. (rare) Dated form of laisser-faire.


laissez faire

  1. inflection of laisser faire:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative