cap·​i·​tal·​ist | \ ˈka-pə-tə-list , ˈkap-tə-\

Definition of capitalist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who has capital especially invested in business industrial capitalists broadly : a person of wealth : plutocrat Charitable organizations often seek help from capitalists.
2 : a person who favors capitalism


variants: or capitalistic \ ˌka-​pə-​tə-​ˈli-​stik , ˌkap-​tə-​ \

Definition of capitalist (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : owning capital the capitalist class
2a : practicing or advocating capitalism capitalist nations
b : marked by capitalism capitalist period of history

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Other Words from capitalist


capitalistically \ ˌka-​pə-​tə-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē , ˌkap-​tə-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for capitalist

Synonyms: Noun

Croesus, deep pocket, fat cat, have, money, moneybags, plutocrat, silk stocking

Antonyms: Noun

have-not, pauper

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Examples of capitalist in a Sentence


capitalists who lost everything in the '29 Crash

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some venture capitalists are thinking inside the box again. Katie Roof, WSJ, "Inside the Box: Subscription E-Commerce Startups Show Resilience," 14 Feb. 2019 Many fail, so like venture capitalists who back Silicon Valley startups, studio executives have to account for the costs of several failures in addition to a few successes when budgeting new programming. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "HBO, CNN, DC Comics, and more could join a streaming video service under AT&T," 10 Oct. 2018 Venture capitalists worried about losing their relevance in the region want to stay invested. The Economist, "Chinese and US tech giants go at it in emerging markets," 5 July 2018 Venture capitalists have declared the scooter-ization of American cities to be inevitable, sparking a race among a handful of startups. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Bird CEO Explains Why His Scooter Startup Needed $300 Million," 28 June 2018 Like many other celebrated days, 420 has become an opportunity for chronic capitalists to try and cash in. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "Wait, what? . . . Oh yeah, it's 420 . . . why do we call it that anyway?," 19 Apr. 2018 Now, venture capitalists are going on safari to Ohio and Michigan and Indiana. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Can Silicon Valley save the Rust Belt?," 5 Mar. 2018 For these reasons, anti-capitalists (like former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders) tend to find themselves on the left side of the political spectrum. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "What is Capitalism?," 7 Jan. 2019 The 51-year-old congressman leases land to a nut orchard; Harder is a 32-year-old venture capitalist. Michael R. Blood, The Seattle Times, "House Democrats look for win in California farm belt," 31 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Southwest is an example of something that happens time and again in a capitalist economy. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Herb Kelleher," 8 Jan. 2019 Sweden was neutral during the Cold War and theoretically treated all parties, capitalist and communist, the same. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Swedish Pilots Win Medals for Top Secret 1987 SR-71 Incident," 29 Nov. 2018 Mainstream veganism—like mainstream wellness and nutrition—does not often cover the abuse that brown and black and immigrant folks are going through within the capitalist cycle. Amy Quichiz, SELF, "10 Vegans of Color on What Being Vegan Means to Them," 6 Jan. 2019 Mainstream women’s liberation did not seek to reimagine the world and its capitalist underpinnings. Zoey Grossman; Fashion Editor: Cassie Anderson, Harper's BAZAAR, "Uzo Aduba, Katie Holmes & Ieshia Evans Reenact Iconic Images of Social Change," 20 Nov. 2018 Lenin thought that capitalist countries in China’s position were doomed to a series of wars and revolutions. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Imperialism Will Be Dangerous for China," 17 Sep. 2018 But instead the South, which is already one of the most capitalist nations in the world (Samsung’s revenue in 2017 was $216 billion or roughly 15 percent of the nation’s entire GDP), stands in danger of becoming a virtual corporatocracy. David Volodzko, The New Republic, "The Corporate Gangs Who Could Profit From Trade With North Korea," 26 June 2018 Hong Kong’s peg to the dollar has survived three global slowdowns, several stockmarket crashes, an Asian financial crisis, a global one, an epidemic and the handover from one of the world’s first capitalist countries to its largest communist one. The Economist, "Hong Kong defends its dollar peg in both directions," 19 Apr. 2018 Her book is really about using socialist principles to offset the gender inequities in capitalist societies. Sean Illing, Vox, "Why women have better sex under socialism, according to an anthropologist," 12 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capitalist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of capitalist


1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for capitalist


see capital entry 2


see capital entry 2

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Statistics for capitalist

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for capitalist

The first known use of capitalist was in 1774

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More Definitions for capitalist



English Language Learners Definition of capitalist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has a lot of money, property, etc., and who uses those things to produce more money
: a person who believes that capitalism is the best kind of economic system



English Language Learners Definition of capitalist (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to capitalism : using capitalism as an economic system


cap·​i·​tal·​ist | \ ˈka-pə-tə-list \

Kids Definition of capitalist

1 : a person who has usually a lot of money which is used to make more money
2 : a person who supports capitalism

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esteemed in general opinion

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