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Definition of "socialism" []

  • Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. (noun)
  • The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved. (noun)
  • An economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Any of various social or political theories or movements in which the common welfare is to be achieved through the establishment of a socialist economic system (noun)
  • (in Leninist theory) a transitional stage after the proletarian revolution in the development of a society from capitalism to communism: characterized by the distribution of income according to work rather than need (noun)

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Use "socialism" in a sentence
  • "They use the term "socialism" as a pejorative to describe this government activity as an erosion of traditional capitalism and warn investors about the perils of investing in an increasingly socialist economy."
  • "In the US the term socialism is only used to describe some programs."
  • "First, people in the room responded to the use of the term socialism, as it is used a part of a witch hunt."