mercantilism

[mur-kuhn-ti-liz-uhm, -tee-, -tahy-]
noun
1.
mercantile practices or spirit; commercialism.

Origin:
1870–75; < French mercantilisme. See mercantile, -ism

mercantilist, noun, adjective
mercantilistic, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mercantilism (ˈmɜːkəntɪˌlɪzəm)
 
n
1.  economics Also called: mercantile system a theory prevalent in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries asserting that the wealth of a nation depends on its possession of precious metals and therefore that the government of a nation must maximize the foreign trade surplus, and foster national commercial interests, a merchant marine, the establishment of colonies, etc
2.  a rare word for commercialism
 
'mercantilist
 
n, —adj

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mercantilism
1873, from mercantile + -ism.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
mercantilism [(mur-kuhn-tee-liz-uhm, mur-kuhn-ti-liz-uhm, mur-kuhn-teye-liz-uhm)]

An economic doctrine that flourished in Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Mercantilists held that a nation's wealth consisted primarily in the amount of gold and silver in its treasury. Accordingly, mercantilist governments imposed extensive restrictions on their economies to ensure a surplus of exports over imports. In the eighteenth century, mercantilism was challenged by the doctrine of laissez-faire. (See also Adam Smith.)

Note: The European quest for colonial holdings in Asia, Africa, and North and South America was partially a product of mercantile economics.
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
Here has only imported the most appalling mercantilism linked to disgusting and
  absolutely irresponsible use of science.
This period of early capitalism is generally referred to as mercantilism.
Others castigate it for mercantilism.
The situation is quite different when it comes to mercantilism.
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