- an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
- Also called: free enterprise, private enterprise an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, characterized by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditionsCompare
1854, “condition of having capital;” from(n.1) + . Meaning “political/economic system which encourages capitalists” is recorded from 1872.
An economic and political system characterized by a Compare and .)for and and private control of production and consumption. (