follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

socialism

[soh-shuh-liz-uh m] /ˈsoʊ ʃəˌlɪz əm/
noun
1.
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2.
procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3.
(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.
Origin
1830-1840
1830-40; social + -ism
Related forms
presocialism, noun
semisocialism, noun
unsocialism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for socialism
  • It was contemptuous, not only of the old capitalism, but of the old socialism.
  • This has developed as an opposition to the more collectivist views of socialism.
British Dictionary definitions for socialism

socialism

/ˈsəʊʃəˌlɪzəm/
noun
1.
an economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels Compare capitalism
2.
any of various social or political theories or movements in which the common welfare is to be achieved through the establishment of a socialist economic system
3.
(in Leninist theory) a transitional stage after the proletarian revolution in the development of a society from capitalism to communism: characterized by the distribution of income according to work rather than need
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for socialism
n.

1837, from French socialisme (1832) or formed in English (based on socialist) from social (adj.) + -ism. Perhaps first in reference to Robert Owen's communes. "Pierre Leroux (1797-1871), idealistic social reformer and Saint-Simonian publicist, expressly claims to be the originator of the word socialisme" [Klein, also see OED discussion]. The word begins to be used in French in the modern sense c.1835.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
socialism in Culture

socialism definition


An economic system in which the production and distribution of goods are controlled substantially by the government rather than by private enterprise, and in which cooperation rather than competition guides economic activity. There are many varieties of socialism. Some socialists tolerate capitalism, as long as the government maintains the dominant influence over the economy; others insist on an abolition of private enterprise. All communists are socialists, but not all socialists are communists.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for socialism

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for socialism

13
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with socialism