Meaning of physiocrat in English:


Pronunciation /ˈfɪzɪəkrat/


  • A member of an 18th-century group of French economists who believed that agriculture was the source of all wealth and that agricultural products should be highly priced. Advocating adherence to a supposed natural order of social institutions, they also stressed the necessity of free trade.

    ‘However, the French physiocrats and the British classical economists entirely destroyed the rest of the mercantilist scheme.’
    • ‘It can be traced in the theories of public finance to the work of the 18th century French physiocrats.’
    • ‘Smith's view of taxes on land has been the general view among economists since then, and in fact one can trace Smith's argument to the French physiocrats who preceded him.’
    • ‘The physiocrats placed particular stress upon patterns that emerge from laissez-faire.’
    • ‘The precursors of classical political economy were, of course, the physiocrats, who articulated a concept of social class on the basis of a series of theoretical deductions.’
    • ‘Like the French physiocrats, the enlighteners argued for a return to agriculture, based, however, more on their romanticization of the Bible than on solid economic theory.’
    • ‘Smith shared the objection of the French physiocrats to the mercantile system, but he did not share their view that land is the sole source of wealth.’
    • ‘One of Atkinson's final arguments is that the single tax was tried in France before the French Revolution, under the physiocrats, led by Turgot, and proved a miserable failure.’
    • ‘Under the influence of liberal economists, and especially the physiocrat Gournay, author of the phrase laissez-passer, laissez-faire, guild monopolies were increasingly bypassed so as to allow market forces to take their course.’
    • ‘The physiocrats' use of the simple phrase classe propriétaire (land-owning class) is indicative, because it enabled them to avoid the question of social rank.’
    • ‘Unfortunately the BNF's Gallica site, which has some of the physiocrats' works in its index, doesn't provide the option of sorting its results by date.’
    • ‘The principles of laissez-faire and the ideas of the physiocrats were invoked even in the Papal States, where the customs system and the urban provisioning regulations were reformed in the same years.’


Late 18th century from French physiocrate, from physiocratie ‘physiocracy’ (see physio-, -cracy).