invisible hand


: a hypothetical economic force that in a freely competitive market works for the benefit of all

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Today: the invisible hand. Quartz Staff, Quartz, 21 Mar. 2023 Because rats reproduce so prolifically, the invisible hand of natural selection becomes more noticeable. Oliver Whang, New York Times, 27 Feb. 2023 At least for some, that Adam Smith invisible hand is working out. Erik Lacitis, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Feb. 2023 When its spigot is activated by an invisible hand, the sound is deceptively soothing, like a babbling brook or a fountain designed to lull. Chris Vognar, Chron, 17 Feb. 2023 A lot of filmmakers work with an invisible hand, stealth wizards behind the curtain. Leah Greenblatt,, 13 Mar. 2022 And which are being guided by some ominous, invisible hand? John Semley, WIRED, 16 Feb. 2023 Caught by an invisible hand, these fish don't know what hit them. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 1 Feb. 2017 That the choreographer is also the composer heightens the feeling of an invisible hand, even though, as the program states, the choreographic material was created in collaboration with the dancers. Brian Seibert, New York Times, 9 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'invisible hand.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1759, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of invisible hand was in 1759

Dictionary Entries Near invisible hand

Cite this Entry

“Invisible hand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2023.

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