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Word of the Day
Friday, January 16, 2009

Definitions for laissez-faire

  1. the principle that business, industry, trade, etc. should operate with a minimum of regulation and interference by government
  2. maintaining the principle of letting people do as they please

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Citations for laissez-faire
Some Ryder Cup captains take a laissez-faire approach. Jack Nicklaus told me jokingly last week, in an interview posted on, that his job as captain was to deliver a few speeches and make sure the players had "fresh towels, sunscreen and tees." John Paul Newport, The Wall Street Journal
His laissez-faire ideas went from maverick to mainstream during his lifetime. He began graduate studies in economics during the Great Depression as the theories of British economist John Maynard Keynes were revolutionizing his profession. Patricia Sullivan and Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post
Origin of laissez-faire
by 1825, from French, literally "let (people) do (as they think best)," from laissez "let" + faire "to do" (from Latin facere).