invisible hand

noun
(in the economics of Adam Smith) an unseen force or mechanism that guides individuals to unwittingly benefit society through the pursuit of their private interests.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

invisible hand definition


A term used by Adam Smith to describe his belief that individuals seeking their economic self-interest actually benefit society more than they would if they tried to benefit society directly. The statement “What's good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice versa” expresses essentially the same belief.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It would seem to me it will take the invisible hand of a truly free economy to make this work.
Industry structure is almost always best left to the invisible hand to design.
The invisible hand is a metaphor, not a transcendent appendage.
Even so, results rise to the top of a search query because an invisible hand is shepherding them there.
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