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
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.
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).