cap·i·tal·ist | \ -ist \

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


\ ˌka-pə-tə-ˈlis-tik , ˌkap-tə- , British also kə-ˌpi-tə- \
variants: or capitalistic

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 \-ti-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for capitalist

Synonyms: Noun

deep pocket, fat cat, have, money, moneybags, plutocrat

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

Tim Draper, a venture capitalist who spent more than $1.7 million supporting the initiative, told the court in a letter that there’s not enough time to properly consider the legal challenge to his effort. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "'Cal 3' backer urges court to dismiss lawsuit opposing California break-up plan," 14 July 2018 Tim Draper, the Bay Area billionaire and venture capitalist who sponsored Prop. 9, declined to comment on the suit. Bob Egelko,, "California’s three-way split: Lawsuit may take matter out of voters’ hands," 12 July 2018 At a women’s leadership forum in Beijing in March, young women who had sat texting idly during a venture capitalist’s presentation sprang to attention when Ms. Chen strode on stage in a red dress. John Corrigan, WSJ, "An American Lean-In Guru in China," 21 June 2018 Analysts in Mexico say U.S. tariffs dishearten capitalists and embolden socialist Lopez supporters. Joseph N. Distefano,, "Investors discount tariff threats as U.S. economy surges under Trump," 1 June 2018 Case's point about seed capitalists not knowing what's going on in smaller cities is well taken. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "AOL co-founder Steve Case visits Louisville to promote local startups," 11 May 2018 The Bride: Princess Caroline of Monaco The Groom: Philippe Junot Princess Caroline of Monaco reportedly met French venture capitalist Philippe Junot in 1976 at a disco in Paris. Vogue, "The 20 Most Memorable Royal Weddings of All Time," 11 May 2018 Hulk Hogan’s case was secretly funded by billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel. Jonathan Randles And Lukas I. Alpert, WSJ, "Bustle Owner Bryan Goldberg Wins Bankruptcy Auction for," 12 July 2018 Ford announced its purchase of the building earlier this month for an undisclosed amount with plans to restore the magnificent building and house workers, lease space to venture capitalists and develop luxury lofts. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford receiving calls to return stolen Detroit train station property," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

For all the communist central planning, North Korea is essentially capitalist now. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Reporter’s notebook: Covering North Korea, daring to hope for change.," 11 June 2018 On a recent visit, your correspondent was asked about the place of civil servants in capitalist society, about how Western manufacturers keep costs down and, inevitably, about Brexit. The Economist, "What life is like for ordinary North Koreans," 26 May 2018 In a capitalist society—even one that pays as much lip service to democratic values as this one—wealth will always be the most important determinant of political influence. Jay Willis, GQ, "Michael Cohen Is Rotten Because the System Is Rotten," 10 May 2018 Robert Sutton, a professor of management science at the Stanford Engineering School, attributes the trend to boring old capitalist greed. Erin Griffith, WIRED, "Travis Kalanick's Return and the 'Bad Boys' Who Always Come Back," 21 Mar. 2018 What started as survival entrepreneurialism during the devastating famine of the 1990s has grown into a full-blown capitalist economy, complete with de facto privatized production, competing bus and taxi companies, and individual investment. Hannah Song, Time, "Forget Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. Here’s Why the People of North Korea Are the Real Solution," 13 June 2018 Adam Posen, Peterson Institute for International Economics President, says the current U.S. administration’s trade policy is not capitalist, Republican, or pro-growth., "Surveillance: A Story of Fading Tax Stimulus with Zentner," 4 June 2018 In the nineteen-thirties, when Polanyi was first formulating his critique, the British economist John Maynard Keynes was likewise arguing that capitalist economies aren’t self-adjusting. Caleb Crain, The New Yorker, "Is Capitalism a Threat to Democracy?," 7 May 2018 An event billed instead as a family-friendly picnic will take place at Lents Park in the city's southeast quadrant, much to the chagrin of those who embrace the rebellious spirit of the anti-capitalist holiday. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh,, "After last year's melee, Portland's anti-capitalists throw May Day picnic," 30 Apr. 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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Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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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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