[ soh-shuh-lis-tik ]
/ ˌsoʊ ʃəˈlɪs tɪk /
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of or relating to socialists or socialism.
in accordance with socialism.
advocating or supporting socialism.
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Origin of socialistic

First recorded in 1840–50; social(ism) + -istic

OTHER WORDS FROM socialistic

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does socialistic mean?

Socialistic is an adjective used to describe things involving socialism, which is an ideology or system based on the collective, public ownership and control of the resources used to make and distribute goods or provide services. This involves ownership of such things not by private individuals but by the public (the community as a whole), often in the form of a centralized government.

The things needed to make goods or offer services—the raw materials, tools, factories, and labor—are known as the means of production. Under socialism, the means of production are owned collectively, rather than by private enterprises.

Socialistic can be used to describe things that relate to, resemble, support, advocate for, or operate under socialism, such as countries, economies, or programs. The adjective socialist is used in many of the same ways. Socialist can also be used as a noun to refer to someone who practices or supports socialism.

Socialism is both a social and an economic theory, with many varying interpretations as to what it truly entails. In general, socialism values people working together to meet individuals’ needs. It’s based on the belief that everyone who helps create goods or services should have a share in them. To achieve that, socialism calls for the government to own the raw materials used to make goods, such as wood and metals, and everything you need to make things out of them, including machinery and factories. Some versions of the ideology are based on the belief that the government should also set all purchase prices and workers’ wages to ensure that everyone’s wealth stays equal. In this version of socialism, doctors, bakers, clerks, teachers, and accountants would all be paid the same.

Many socialists think that essential services—such as healthcare, education, and even food—should be provided to the citizens by the government. The idea is that since community members worked together to produce those goods and services, everyone should have equal access to them.

There are many common misconceptions related to socialism. One is that a nation cannot be both socialistic and democratic at the same time, yet many socialists agree with the idea of democracy.

Another common misconception is that there is no private property in a socialistic society. But many people who consider themselves socialists are concerned only with property that has to do with production. In a society based on socialism, you could theoretically still have iPhones, jeans, and cars. The difference would be that the government would own everything required to make them. Abolishing private property is actually a part of communism, an ideology that is often confused with socialism. In Marxist theory, socialism is sometimes considered a middle stage in the transition from capitalism to communism.

Where does socialistic come from?

The first records of the word socialistic come from the 1800s. It is formed from the word social, meaning “relating to life, welfare, and relations of humans in a community,” and the suffix -istic, which forms adjectives from words that end in -ism, which indicates a theory, doctrine, or ideology.

As a political ideology, socialism is often traced back to the Industrial Revolution. Technology innovations during this time allowed business owners to become very rich while people who worked in their factories worked long hours in dangerous conditions for little pay. Socialism emerged as an alternative to this system of capitalism.

In capitalist systems, most things are privately owned, prices and wages are determined by a free market economy, and goods and services are available only to those who can afford them. Capitalism often leads to a wealthy upper class and a poorer lower class. In contrast, an ideal socialistic system aims for no economic classes.

Today, there is no completely socialist country or government. Even countries like Sweden that are often labeled as socialist have capitalist economies based on free markets and competition. China is a communist, one-party state that still has many privately owned corporations and businesses. Even strongly capitalistic countries such as the United States still have some very popular socialistic programs, such as Social Security.

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What are some other forms related to socialistic?

What are some synonyms for socialistic?

  • socialist (when socialist is used as an adjective)

What are some words that share a root or word element with socialistic

What are some words that often get used in discussing socialistic?

How is socialistic used in real life?

The word socialistic is used in the context of politics, economics, and the discussion of ideologies.



How to use socialistic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for socialistic

/ (ˌsəʊʃəˈlɪstɪk) /

resembling or sympathizing with socialism

Derived forms of socialistic

socialistically, adverb
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