free enterprise


Definition of free enterprise 

: freedom of private business to organize and operate for profit in a competitive system without interference by government beyond regulation necessary to protect public interest and keep the national economy in balance

Examples of free enterprise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Feulner packaged his fledgling think tank’s ideology into five basic principles: free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values and a strong national defense. Jonathan Mahler, New York Times, "How One Conservative Think Tank Is Stocking Trump’s Government," 20 June 2018 If Adidas sponsored that team as a means of keeping Langford in its sneakers, and helped steer him to Indiana University to help build its brand at an affiliated school, that’s free enterprise. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Adidas' relationship with AAU looks sketchy, but it's just free market," 17 May 2018 Blanton did not say whether UK is considering changing the name of the free enterprise institute or the atrium. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Cardinal Stadium is Papa John's to name, but pressure mounts to change it," 12 July 2018 There are those struggling to eke out a bare existence in a barren land who have never heard of free enterprise, but who cherish the idea of independence. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, "‘Awe-inspiring’: Listen to Sen. John F. Kennedy read the Declaration of Independence," 4 July 2018 His ultimate theme is that free enterprise is the key to giving everyone a leg up. Fox News, "'I Love Capitalism!: An American Story' by Ken Langone," 18 May 2018 Until the 1970s, independent farmers, once considered the epitome of our free enterprise system, produced most of the meat and animal products for American consumers. Peter Keough,, "The hidden costs of humans being carnivores," 14 June 2018 But free enterprise only works well if customers are not being tricked. WSJ, "Is It Time to Adopt a Uniform Fee-Only Standard for Financial Advice?," 18 Mar. 2018 Its free enterprise philosophy welcomes trading partners from everywhere, regardless of politics. Annabelle Liang, The Christian Science Monitor, "Singapore seen as natural choice for US-North Korea summit," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'free enterprise.' 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 free enterprise

1890, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about free enterprise

Share free enterprise

Statistics for free enterprise

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for free enterprise

The first known use of free enterprise was in 1890

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for free enterprise

free enterprise


English Language Learners Definition of free enterprise

: a system in which private businesses are able to compete with each other with little control by the government

More from Merriam-Webster on free enterprise

See words that rhyme with free enterprise

Spanish Central: Translation of free enterprise

Comments on free enterprise

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


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

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!