Definition of mercantilism
2 : an economic system developing during the decay of feudalism to unify and increase the power and especially the monetary wealth of a nation by a strict governmental regulation of the entire national economy usually through policies designed to secure an accumulation of bullion (see bullion 1), a favorable balance of trade, the development of agriculture and manufactures, and the establishment of foreign trading monopolies (see monopoly 1)
mercantilistplay \-list\ noun or adjective
mercantilisticplay \ˌmər-kən-ˌtē-ˈlis-tik, -ˌtī-, -tə-\ adjective
Recent Examples of mercantilism from the Web
But mercantilism, the erroneous notion that exports are inherently good and imports always bad is not only alive and well in the general populace, but has a grip on the president of our nation and on his commerce secretary.
Its wild mercantilism put Genoa in contact with the world, endowing it with the wealth and architectural and artistic grandeur of a city like Venice, and the grit of a port city like Marseille.
Practically everything else—renegotiating NAFTA, confronting Chinese mercantilism, the trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, comprehensive tax reform—has been placed on the back burner.
The short life span of the deal can be blamed in large part on national barriers — which are likely to rise even further as a new mercantilism emerges.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mercantilism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of mercantilism
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up mercantilism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).