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Laissez-faire is short for, "laissez-faire, laissez-passer," a French phrase meanin idiomatically "leave tae dae, leave tae pass" or mair accurate "lat things abee, lat thaim pass". First uised bi the aichteent century Physiocrats as an injunction agin govrenment interficherin wi tred an troke, it is nou uised as a synonym for strict free mercat economics. Laissez-faire economic policy is in direct contrast tae statist economic policy. Adam Smith played a lairge role in popularizin laissez-faire economic theories in Inglis-speakin kintras, thou he wis tuithie o a nummer o aspects o whit is currently thocht o as laissez-faire (sic as want o govrenment regulation o business practices).

Laissez-faire (imperative) is distinct frae laisser faire (infinitive) that refers tae a careless attitude in the application o a policy, impleein a want o conseederation, or thocht.