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invisible hand

[ in-viz-uh-buhl hand ]
/ ɪnˈvɪz ə bəl ˈhænd /
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noun

(in the economics of Adam Smith) an unseen force or mechanism that guides individuals to unwittingly benefit society through the pursuit of their private interests.

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Origin of invisible hand

First recorded in 1775–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use invisible hand in a sentence

Cultural definitions for invisible hand

invisible hand

A term used by Adam Smith to describe his belief that individuals seeking their economic self-interest actually benefit society more than they would if they tried to benefit society directly. The statement “What's good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice versa” expresses essentially the same belief.

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.
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