Free-enterprise



noun
1.
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.
2.
the practice of free enterprise in an economy, or the right to practice it.
noun
1.
an economic system in which commercial organizations compete for profit with little state control

The freedom of private businesses to operate competitively for profit with minimal governmental regulation.
Also, 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.

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