mercantilism

[mur-kuh n-ti-liz-uh m, -tee-, -tahy-]
See more synonyms for mercantilism on Thesaurus.com

Origin of mercantilism

From the French word mercantilisme, dating back to 1870–75. See mercantile, -ism
Related formsmer·can·til·ist, noun, adjectivemer·can·til·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for mercantilism

Contemporary Examples of mercantilism

  • Morici blames the return of stagflation on "Chinese mercantilism" as its government fixes oil prices at home at low levels.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Will Egypt Rock Our Economy?

    Charlie Gasparino

    January 30, 2011

  • "If you want to know why there are riots in Egypt, it's because of Chinese mercantilism," he says.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Will Egypt Rock Our Economy?

    Charlie Gasparino

    January 30, 2011

Historical Examples of mercantilism


British Dictionary definitions for mercantilism

mercantilism

noun
  1. Also called: mercantile system economics a theory prevalent in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries asserting that the wealth of a nation depends on its possession of precious metals and therefore that the government of a nation must maximize the foreign trade surplus, and foster national commercial interests, a merchant marine, the establishment of colonies, etc
  2. a rare word for commercialism (def. 1)
Derived Formsmercantilist, noun, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for mercantilism
n.

1834, from French mercantilisme; see mercantile + -ism. Related: mercantilist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mercantilism in Culture

mercantilism

[(mur-kuhn-tee-liz-uhm, mur-kuhn-ti-liz-uhm, mur-kuhn-teye-liz-uhm)]

An economic doctrine that flourished in Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Mercantilists held that a nation's wealth consisted primarily in the amount of gold and silver in its treasury. Accordingly, mercantilist governments imposed extensive restrictions on their economies to ensure a surplus of exports over imports. In the eighteenth century, mercantilism was challenged by the doctrine of laissez-faire. (See also Adam Smith.)

Note

The European quest for colonial holdings in Asia, Africa, and North and South America was partially a product of mercantile economics.
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.