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Definition of "mercantilism" [mercantilism]

  • The theory and system of political economy prevailing in Europe after the decline of feudalism, based on national policies of accumulating bullion, establishing colonies and a merchant marine, and developing industry and mining to attain a favorable balance of trade. (noun)
  • The practice, methods, or spirit of merchants; commercialism. (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.

Use "mercantilism" in a sentence
  • "But she had attained this position not by practicing free trade, rather under a now-largely-forgotten protectionist policy that has come down to us under the name "mercantilism.""
  • "Additionally, very few people are looking at the direct impact of China's trade policies and how Beijing's mercantilism is beginning to hollow out other countries 'manufacturing bases -- not just in the US but also in other parts of Asia (which are also experiencing decelerations in their exports and purchasing manufacturing indices)."
  • "This approach is usually referred to as mercantilism and is closely associated with the power to enforce the nation's economic will."