Someone who hopes to profit by investing money or financing business ventures is a capitalist. A nation's economy is described as capitalist if it's based on private ownership and profit.

The word capitalist appeared in 1791, taken from the French word capitaliste. A capitalist is someone who believes in the economic philosophy of Capitalism, a system of privately-owned, for-profit businesses. A capitalist might believe in free enterprise and the individual’s ability to gain wealth through intelligence and hard work. Capitalist can also be used to describe a self-interested, every-man-for-himself approach to the world.

Definitions of capitalist
  1. adjective
    of or relating to capitalism or capitalists
    “a capitalist nation”
    synonyms: capitalistic
  2. adjective
    favoring or practicing capitalism
    synonyms: capitalistic
    (according to Marxist thought) being of the property-owning class and exploitive of the working class
    competitive, free-enterprise, private-enterprise
    subscribing to capitalistic competition
    individualistic, laissez-faire
    with minimally restricted freedom in commerce
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    socialist, socialistic
    advocating or following the socialist principles
    set up on the principle of collectivism or ownership and production by the workers involved usually under the supervision of a government
    collectivised, collectivist, collectivistic, collectivized, state-controlled
    subscribing to the socialistic doctrine of ownership by the people collectively
    of or belonging to the political or intellectual left
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  3. noun
    a conservative advocate of capitalism
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    type of:
    conservative, conservativist
    a person who is reluctant to accept changes and new ideas
  4. noun
    a person who invests capital in a business (especially a large business)
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    show 67 examples...
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    John Jacob Astor
    United States capitalist (born in Germany) who made a fortune in fur trading (1763-1848)
    Bernard Mannes Baruch
    economic advisor to United States Presidents (1870-1965)
    James Buchanan Brady
    United States financier noted for his love of diamonds and his extravagant lifestyle (1856-1917)
    Andrew Carnegie
    United States industrialist and philanthropist who endowed education and public libraries and research trusts (1835-1919)
    Jay Cooke
    United States financier who marketed Union bonds to finance the American Civil War; the failure of his bank resulted in a financial panic in 1873 (1821-1905)
    Peter Cooper
    United States industrialist who built the first American locomotive; founded Cooper Union in New York City to offer free courses in the arts and sciences (1791-1883)
    Ezra Cornell
    United States businessman who unified the telegraph system in the United States and who in 1865 (with Andrew D. White) founded Cornell University (1807-1874)
    Cosimo de Medici
    Italian financier and statesman and friend of the papal court (1389-1464)
    Glenn Hammond Curtiss
    United States industrialist and aviation pioneer (1878-1930)
    Gottlieb Daimler
    German engineer and automobile manufacturer who produced the first high-speed internal combustion engine (1834-1900)
    John Deere
    United States industrialist who manufactured plows suitable for working the prairie soil (1804-1886)
    George Eastman
    United States inventor of a dry-plate process of developing photographic film and of flexible film (his firm introduced roll film) and of the box camera and of a process for color photography (1854-1932)
    Henry Ford
    United States manufacturer of automobiles who pioneered mass production (1863-1947)
    Edsel Bryant Ford
    son of Henry Ford (1893-1943)
    Henry Ford II
    grandson of Henry Ford (1917-1987)
    Henry Clay Frick
    United States industrialist who amassed a fortune in the steel industry (1849-1919)
    William Henry Gates
    United States computer entrepreneur whose software company made him the youngest multi-billionaire in the history of the United States (born in 1955)
    King Camp Gilette
    United States inventor and manufacturer who developed the safety razor (1855-1932)
    Stephen Girard
    United States financier (born in France) who helped finance the War of 1812 (1750-1831)
    Jay Gould
    United States financier who gained control of the Erie Canal and who caused a financial panic in 1869 when he attempted to corner the gold market (1836-1892)
    Sir Thomas Gresham
    English financier (1519-1579)
    Meyer Guggenheim
    United States industrialist (born in Switzerland) who with his sons established vast mining and metal processing companies (1828-1905)
    Edward Henry Harriman
    United States railway tycoon (1848-1909)
    William Averell Harriman
    United States financier who negotiated a treaty with the Soviet Union banning tests of nuclear weapons (1891-1986)
    Charles Henry Harrod
    English merchant who took over a shop in London that was expanded by his son into a prestigious department store (1800-1885)
    Charles Digby Harrod
    English merchant who expanded his father's shop in London into a prestigious department store (1841-1905)
    Henry John Heinz
    United States industrialist who manufactured and sold processed foods (1844-1919)
    James Jerome Hill
    United States railroad tycoon (1838-1916)
    William Henry Hoover
    United States industrialist who manufactured vacuum cleaners (1849-1932)
    Johns Hopkins
    United States financier and philanthropist who left money to found the university and hospital that bear his name in Baltimore (1795-1873)
    Howard Robard Hughes
    United States industrialist who was an aviator and a film producer; during the last years of his life he was a total recluse (1905-1976)
    Collis Potter Huntington
    United States railroad executive who built the western section of the first United States transcontinental railroad (1821-1900)
    Friedrich Krupp
    German industrialist who manufactured steel in Essen (1787-1826)
    Edwin Herbert Land
    United States inventor who incorporated Polaroid film into lenses and invented the one step photographic process (1909-1991)
    First Baron Marks of Broughton
    English businessman who created a retail chain (1888-1964)
    Andrew William Mellon
    United States financier and philanthropist (1855-1937)
    John Pierpont Morgan
    United States financier and philanthropist (1837-1913)
    Robert Morris
    leader of the American Revolution who signed the Declaration of Independence and raised money for the Continental Army (1734-1806)
    First Viscount Nuffield
    British industrialist who manufactured automobiles and created a philanthropic foundation (1877-1963)
    Wilhelm von Opel
    German industrialist who was the first in Germany to use an assembly line in manufacturing automobiles (1871-1948)
    Elisha Graves Otis
    United States inventor who manufactured the first elevator with a safety device (1811-1861)
    Robert Owen
    Welsh industrialist and social reformer who founded cooperative communities (1771-1858)
    Sir Frederick Handley Page
    English industrialist who pioneered in the design and manufacture of aircraft (1885-1962)
    Cecil John Rhodes
    British colonial financier and statesman in South Africa; made a fortune in gold and diamond mining; helped colonize the territory now known as Zimbabwe; he endowed annual fellowships for British Commonwealth and United States students to study at Oxford University (1853-1902)
    John Davison Rockefeller
    United States industrialist who made a fortune in the oil business and gave half of it away (1839-1937)
    any of family of powerful Jewish bankers in Europe
    Haym Salomon
    American financier and American Revolutionary War patriot who helped fund the army during the American Revolution (1740?-1785)
    David Sarnoff
    United States businessman who pioneered in radio and television broadcasting (1891-1971)
    Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky
    United States industrialist (born in Russia) who designed the first four-engine airplane and the first mass-produced helicopter (1889-1972)
    Sir Clive Marles Sinclair
    English electrical engineer who founded a company that introduced many innovative products (born in 1940)
    Ernest Solvay
    Belgian chemist who developed the Solvay process and built factories exploiting it (1838-1922)
    Leland Stanford
    United States railroad executive and founder of Stanford University (1824-1893)
    George Stephenson
    English railway pioneer who built the first passenger railway in 1825 (1781-1848)
    Commodore Vanderbilt
    United States financier who accumulated great wealth from railroad and shipping businesses (1794-1877)
    Henry Villard
    United States railroad magnate and businessman (1835-1900)
    John Wanamaker
    United States businessman whose business grew into one of the first department stores (1838-1922)
    Aaron Montgomery Ward
    United States businessman who in 1872 established a successful mail-order business (1843-1913)
    Frank Winfield Woolworth
    United States businessman who opened a shop in 1879 selling low-priced goods and built it into a national chain of stores (1852-1919)
    Rudolf Wurlitzer
    United States businessman (born in German) who founded a company to make pipe organs (1831-1914)
    William Maxwell Aitken
    British newspaper publisher and politician (born in Canada); confidant of Winston Churchill (1879-1964)
    Alfred Charles William Harmsworth
    British newspaper publisher (1865-1922)
    Benjamin Harris
    publisher of the first newspaper printed in America (1673-1713)
    William Randolph Hearst
    United States newspaper publisher whose introduction of large headlines and sensational reporting changed American journalism (1863-1951)
    Joseph Pulitzer
    United States newspaper publisher (born in Hungary) who established the Pulitzer prizes (1847-1911)
    James Edmund Scripps
    United States newspaper publisher and half-brother of Edward Wyllis Scripps (1835-1908)
    Edward Wyllis Scripps
    United States newspaper publisher who founded an important press association; half-brother of James Edmund Scripps (1854-1926)
    Gustavus Franklin Swift
    United States meat-packer who began the use of refrigerated railroad cars (1839-1903)
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    bourgeois, businessperson
    a capitalist who engages in industrial commercial enterprise
    financier, moneyman
    a person skilled in large scale financial transactions
    bearer, holder
    the person who is in possession of a check or note or bond or document of title that is endorsed to him or to whoever holds it
    someone who commits capital in order to gain financial returns
    someone with great regard for material possessions
    someone who is successful in accumulating wealth
    someone who makes excessive profit (especially on goods in short supply)
    an investor who deliberately decides to go against the prevailing wisdom of other investors
    accountant, comptroller, controller
    someone who maintains and audits business accounts
    account executive, account representative, customer's broker, customer's man, registered representative
    someone in charge of a client's account for an advertising agency or brokerage or other service business
    agent, broker, factor
    a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission
    a financier who owns or is an executive in a bank
    an investor with a pessimistic market outlook; an investor who expects prices to fall and so sells now in order to buy later at a lower price
    a holder of bonds issued by a government or corporation
    an investor with an optimistic market outlook; an investor who expects prices to rise and so buys now for resale later
    businessman, man of affairs
    a person engaged in commercial or industrial business (especially an owner or executive)
    a female businessperson
    an investor who buys a call option
    city man
    a financier who works in one of the banks in the City of London
    a person who has deposited money in a bank or similar institution
    enterpriser, entrepreneur
    someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it
    a businessperson who transports goods abroad (for sale)
    someone whose business involves importing goods from outside (especially from a foreign country)
    lender, loaner
    someone who lends money or gives credit in business matters
    merchandiser, merchant
    a businessperson engaged in retail trade
    someone whose main interest in life is moneymaking
    dealer, principal
    the major party to a financial transaction at a stock exchange; buys and sells for his own account
    someone whose income is from property rents or bond interest and other investments
    someone who ships goods
    shareholder, shareowner, stockholder
    someone who holds shares of stock in a corporation
    provider, supplier
    someone whose business is to supply a particular service or commodity
    type of:
    individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
    a human being
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