an economic and political doctrine holding that a capitalist economy can regulate itself in a freely competitive market through the relationship of supply and demand with a minimum of governmental intervention and regulation.
the practice of free enterprise in an economy, or the right to practice it.
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- Also called private enterprise.
- free-en·ter·pris·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use free enterprise in a sentence
It also reveals that the conservative commitment to free enterprise was never ironclad, long before its current ire against Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball, among others.
The group’s efforts illustrate how conservatives’ commitment to free enterprise has always been conditioned upon support for their broader political and cultural agendas.
While the hope is that free enterprise can generate innovation, national governments are still liable for whatever space activities a country’s private companies conduct.China’s surging private space industry is out to challenge the US | Neel Patel | January 21, 2021 | MIT Technology Review
This is the way it should be in a competitive, free enterprise system that extolls entrepreneurial risk and job creation.How a new regulation would let businesses avoid the law by classifying employees as independent contractors | jakemeth | October 31, 2020 | Fortune
There also seems to be an element of free enterprise involved.
It is easy enough to blame the Cubans for banishing free enterprise and throwing an iron curtain around their top athletic talent.MLB’s Next Headache: Cartels, Gangsters, and Their Cuban Superstars | Peter C. Bjarkman | April 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The fate of free enterprise—and freedom itself—hangs in the balance.Can Heritage Foundation Posterboy Bono Save the GOP? | James Poulos | March 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He cleverly defended fundraising efforts on behalf of the Greek military in Britain as a matter of free enterprise.Poet and Rake, Lord Byron Was Also an Interventionist With Brains and Savvy | Michael Weiss | February 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
President Obama will from time to time describe himself as a strong believer in the free-enterprise system.As Obama Redistributes the Golden Eggs, Time to Praise the Goose | David Frum | January 21, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
"Absolutely free enterprise" was Mr. Wilson's leading phrase.Contemporary American History, 1877-1913 | Charles A. Beard
Fortunately for the preservation of the free enterprise system, I had tools ready to hand.Greener Than You Think | Ward Moore
It is vigorously dynamic in the limitless initiative and willingness to venture that characterize free enterprise.
It provides the opportunity for American free enterprise to develop on a worldwide scale.
Help us to free enterprise by permitting debate and voting "yes" on our proposal for enterprise zones in America.
British Dictionary definitions for free enterprise
an economic system in which commercial organizations compete for profit with little state control
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cultural definitions for free enterprise
The freedom of private businesses to operate competitively for profit with minimal governmental regulation.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with free enterprise
Also, private enterprise. An undertaking on one's own behalf, especially a shady or illegal one. For example, The city treasurer didn't bother with competitive bids; the spirit of free enterprise just led him to his brother-in-law, or The sergeant indulged in a little private enterprise, selling cigarettes on the black market. This sarcastic application of a term that has meant, since about 1885, the freedom of private businesses to operate competitively for profit with a minimum of government control, dates from the mid-1900s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.