[ mon-i-tuh-riz-uhm, muhn- ]

  1. a doctrine holding that changes in the money supply determine the direction of a nation's economy.

Origin of monetarism

An Americanism dating back to 1965–70; monetar(y) + -ism

Other words from monetarism

  • mon·e·ta·rist, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for monetarism


/ (ˈmʌnɪtəˌrɪzəm) /

  1. the theory that inflation is caused by an excess quantity of money in an economy

  2. an economic policy based on this theory and on a belief in the efficiency of free market forces, that gives priority to achieving price stability by monetary control, balanced budgets, etc, and maintains that unemployment results from excessive real wage rates and cannot be controlled by Keynesian demand management

Derived forms of monetarism

  • monetarist, 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

Cultural definitions for monetarism


[ (mon-uh-tuh-riz-uhm) ]

The economic doctrine that the supply of money has a major impact on a nation's economic growth. For example, monetarists prefer to control inflation by restricting the growth of a nation's money supply rather than by raising taxes. The doctrine is associated with Milton Friedman.

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.