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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of capitalist in a Sentence


capitalists who lost everything in the '29 Crash

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Willi Schlamm observed that the problem with capitalism is capitalists, and, likewise, the problem with Christianity is and always has been Christians, from Saint Peter forward. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Playing God," 8 Sep. 2019 These companies have received generous funding from venture capitalists for years. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "The sharing economy is a massive transfer of wealth from rich investors to rich consumers," 21 Aug. 2019 Get our daily newsletter In 2018 fertility firms received $624m from venture capitalists and private-equity firms, compared with less than $200m in 2009, according to Pitchbook, a data provider. The Economist, "The fertility business is booming," 8 Aug. 2019 In 2018, the Trudeau government also made permanent the Start-Up Visa program, which allows immigrant entrepreneurs to live and work in the country provided their start-up has secured funding from venture capitalists or angel investors. Alana Semuels, Time, "Tech Companies Say it's Too Hard to Hire High-Skilled Immigrants in the U.S. — So They're Growing in Canada Instead," 25 July 2019 India’s tough stance on cryptocurrencies has irked the American billionaire and venture capitalist Tim Draper. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "American billionaire calls Modi government “pathetic and corrupt” over its bitcoin stance," 18 July 2019 Since its founding in 2010, Spindrift has raised more than $40 million from venture capitalists. Sheila Marikar, New York Times, "The Seltzer Bubble," 13 July 2019 While Turo and Getaround have existed about a decade, both companies have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from venture capitalists in recent years to finance aggressive expansion efforts. Ron Hurtibise,, "'Airbnb for cars’ is here, and renting will never be the same," 7 June 2019 The fan was identified on Thursday as Mark Stevens, a venture capitalist and part owner of the Warriors since 2013. Michael Shapiro,, "Mark Stevens: What to Know About the Warriors' Owner Who Shoved Kyle Lowry," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In its totality, fried chicken is an odd compression of American history, capitalist self-interest, communal identity, pop art, and food nirvana. Wired, "Depth of Field: Visual Poetry in the Chicken Sandwich War," 29 Aug. 2019 Some historians also object the project’s reliance on a distorting school of anti-capitalist history. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The 1619 Project’s Potted History," 27 Aug. 2019 Anti-capitalist protesters also plan demonstrations Sunday after clashing with police near Biarritz on the summit’s opening day Saturday. Washington Post, "The Latest: French, US officials talk tech tax at dinner," 26 Aug. 2019 How to Be an Antiracist is a journal of Kendi's efforts to free himself of the ideological manacles clamped upon him by a society suffused with white supremacism, capitalist exploitation, misogyny and the repression of unconventional sexuality. Dallas News, "A black author grapples with his own racism in 'How to Be an Antiracist'," 26 Aug. 2019 In a capitalist economy, surplus value (profit) is generated from human labor and everything is commodified. Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, "Cisheteropatriarchy. Hxrstory. The language of ethnic studies, explained," 13 Aug. 2019 Just like that, a faint glimmer of collective intelligence emerged from the primordial capitalist muck. Rowan Jacobsen, Outside Online, "An Ocean Plastics Field Trip for Corporate Executives," 8 Aug. 2019 Poetry, long thought to be the product of creative purity – and almost anti-capitalist in its unmarketability – becomes a tool for deception and self-promotion in Ives’ capable hands. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Taking the male ego down a couple of notches," 13 June 2019 Sanders is still the only candidate who is remotely anti-capitalist, and the only candidate who calls himself a socialist. Conor Lynch, The New Republic, "The Left’s Failure to Envision a World Without Capitalism," 12 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about capitalist

Statistics for capitalist

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for capitalist

The first known use of capitalist was in 1774

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!