I am trying to describe the state of an economy (or country/region if you like) that does not trade using a noun.

My best choice so far is "autarky", but this means rather "absence of necessity to trade" than "absence of trade". An economy in autarky does not need to trade and may not trade, yet it could.

  • Are you referring to absence of international trade?
    – user 66974
    Jul 18, 2018 at 8:40
  • In my case of use, yes. In general, it would not have to be international trade. For example, the trade could "not happen" between two neighboring villages.
    – N. Hinkel
    Jul 18, 2018 at 8:43
  • 1
    I don't think you're going to get a better one-word solution than autarchy/autarky. If clarity on that necessity point is needed, fall back to the two word solution "closed economy" Jul 18, 2018 at 12:26
  • an autarkic economy. Adjective. not: an economy in autarky.
    – Lambie
    Jul 18, 2018 at 14:33
  • I would say autarky should be spelled autarchy in English.
    – GEdgar
    Jul 18, 2018 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


The word isolationist (as in isolationism) applies to both politics and economics:


: a policy of national isolation by abstention from alliances and other international political and economic relations

But if you're concerned only with economics, your own autarky seems like the best fit.

That aside, the most direct word is simply tradeless:


: having no trade

So, you could say:

They had a tradeless economy.

Something else (which is not a direct fit) would be embargo:


2 : a legal prohibition on commerce • a trade embargo

As it applies to your situation, you could say:

They were a completely embargoed nation.

Typically, a nation will specifically embargo a few other nations (if not just one), but there's no reason why a particular nation couldn't enforce its own embargo in relation to everybody. (Although I can't think of any instance when this has actually been done.) The word also has a sense of the temporary to it.

  • "tradeless" does not work since it's an adjective and "embargo" implies a cause for the absence of trade, which does not hold in my case.
    – N. Hinkel
    Jul 18, 2018 at 15:10
  • Verb “institute Isolationism” Jul 19, 2018 at 14:32

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