from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An economic doctrine that opposes governmental regulation of or interference in commerce beyond the minimum necessary for a free-enterprise system to operate according to its own economic laws.
  • noun Noninterference in the affairs of others.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Noninterference; -- an axiom of some political economists, deprecating interference of government by attempts to foster or regulate commerce, manufactures, etc., by bounty or by restriction

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun economics A policy of governmental non-interference in economic affairs.
  • noun A policy of non-interference by authority in any competitive process.
  • adjective economics, politics Practicing or representing governmental noninterference, or minimal interference, especially in economic affairs; pertaining to free-market capitalism.
  • adjective economics, politics Advocating such noninterference.
  • adjective economics Resulting from such noninterference.
  • adjective of a person Avoiding interference in other people's affairs; choosing to live and let live.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the doctrine that government should not interfere in commercial affairs


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French : laissez, second person pl. imperative of laisser, to let, allow + faire, to do.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French laissez faire ("leave it be", literally "let do")


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  • the belief that government and law should not interfere into the businesses or conditions of people's working lives

    May 29, 2008

  • I guess the "small government" refrain is a dog-whistle for this ol' invisible hand Capitalist tenet.

    November 27, 2008