cap·​i·​tal·​ist | \ ˈka-pə-tə-list How to pronounce capitalist (audio) , 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 How to pronounce capitalistic (audio) , 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 How to pronounce capitalistically (audio) , 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

The venture capitalist was eager to be involved with Amoruso’s new network. Lindzi Scharf,, "Sophia Amoruso, L.A.’s millennial ‘Girlboss,’ is busy with her second act," 3 July 2019 The supermodel and founder of Kode with Klossy, a coding camp for girls, and the venture capitalist toasted their union with a group of close friends including Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, Diane von Furstenberg, Mila Kunis, and Dasha Zhukova. Vogue, "Karlie Kloss Celebrates Her Wedding With a Star-Studded “Prairie Party” in Wyoming," 24 June 2019 The company is backed by major venture capitalists including Peter Thiel and Michael Novogratz. Madison Margolin, Quartz, "The next battle in the War on Drugs will be fought over psychedelics," 4 June 2019 But in a sign of how much energy there is behind these, some investors aren’t even waiting for all the rules to be nailed down before hatching plans — including venture capitalists. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "The new hotness for tech billionaires? Do-gooder investments they can write off on their taxes.," 16 Oct. 2018 Howard Sherman, venture capitalist and husband of actress Sela Ward, finished less than a point ahead of David Baria, leader of the minority in the Mississippi House. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Primary Results: Dems Likely to Avoid Shut Out in Key California Races," 6 June 2018 Mark Ein, the venture capitalist who recently bought Washington City Paper, could never be confused for the counterculture contrarians who often patronize alternative news weeklies. Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post, "A tennis team, mansions and now an alt-newsweekly: A tycoon’s new project," 30 Jan. 2018 Thiel is not the only venture capitalist chasing the potential of student entrepreneurs. Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz, Town & Country, "How Mark Zuckerberg Changed the Culture of Harvard Forever," 24 May 2017 As a result, these superstar companies — and the smaller firms seeking to upend them — are where pragmatic capitalists can best develop their abilities and be well compensated for them over a long and durable career. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "How Data Can Help You Win in the Winner-Take-All Economy," 15 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Communist predictions of the self-immolation of capitalist societies seemed to be stunningly validated. Joseph Loconte, WSJ, "The Versailles Treaty Gets a Bum Rap," 27 June 2019 Its free-for-all philosophy, paired with Google’s hyper-capitalist advertising machine, went from public square to farm league, with the most compelling, or at least the loudest, self-broadcasters making it to the big time. Owen Thomas,, "‘Broadcast yourself,’ YouTube told us. It might want to rephrase that," 12 June 2019 The group’s politics were anti-capitalist, anti-government, and anti-modern technology, rooted in a 300-page document called The Guidelines. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "The History of the Black Radical Group MOVE and Its Infamous Bombing by Police," 17 May 2019 As long as the United States remains a free, capitalist, and open society, there will be millions of people around the world that would like to come here. Fox News, "Nigel Farage talks Alfie Evans and Britain's medical system," 28 Apr. 2018 The AfD is ideologically divided, with many senior members staunchly capitalist and suspicious of labor unions. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, "Workers of Germany, Unite: The New Siren Call of the Far Right," 5 Feb. 2018 Get our daily newsletter Economists and political theorists have imagined all sorts of ways capitalist democracies might fail. The Economist, "How compatible are democracy and capitalism?," 13 June 2019 Adding more wind to Sanders' sails, earlier this week a Harris poll found that 55% of women between the ages of 18 and 54 would prefer to live in a socialist country over a capitalist country. Cara Korte, CBS News, "Sanders delivers vigorous defense of democratic socialism," 12 June 2019 Its gloomy insistence on the spiritual meaninglessness likely to befall late capitalist societies, in which atheist consumers have nothing serious to live for, rules out such breezy optimism. Stephen Holmes, The New York Review of Books, "The Identity Illusion," 17 Jan. 2019

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

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce capitalist (audio) \

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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Comments on capitalist

What made you want to look up capitalist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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