an economic and political doctrine holding that a capitalist economy can regulate itself in a freely competitive market through the relationship of supply and demand with a minimum of governmental intervention and regulation.
the practice of free enterprise in an economy, or the right to practice it.
private enterprise. An undertaking on one's own behalf, especially a shady or illegal one. For example, The city treasurer didn't bother with competitive bids; the spirit of free enterprise just led him to his brother-in-law, or The sergeant indulged in a little private enterprise, selling cigarettes on the black market. This sarcastic application of a term that has meant, since about 1885, the freedom of private businesses to operate competitively for profit with a minimum of government control, dates from the mid-1900s.