mo·​nop·​o·​ly | \ mə-ˈnä-p(ə-)lē How to pronounce monopoly (audio) \
plural monopolies

Definition of monopoly

1 : exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action
2 : exclusive possession or control no country has a monopoly on morality or truth— Helen M. Lynd
3 : a commodity controlled by one party had a monopoly on flint from their quarries— Barbara A. Leitch
4 : one that has a monopoly The government passed laws intended to break up monopolies.

Examples of monopoly in a Sentence

The government passed laws intended to break up monopolies.

Recent Examples on the Web

This is not a market in which APKWS has a monopoly, either. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "A-10 Warthogs Now Carry Laser-Guided Rockets," 15 June 2016 The 3 1/2-hour hearing Tuesday hit upon familiar themes — online privacy, data protection and the danger of digital monopolies — that are poised to come into even sharper focus next year. Michael Liedtke, The Seattle Times, "Google grilled in Congress: What’s ahead for tech companies," 12 Dec. 2018 But Microsoft knows from experience that a bold move can strike at the heart of a growing browser monopoly. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Google Chrome Is Poised to Swallow the Whole Internet," 4 Dec. 2018 Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly? Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump’s trying to fight Amazon and Jeff Bezos from the White House," 19 May 2018 The industry was a government monopoly until 1985, and is a huge source of tax revenues. Yuri Kageyama, The Seattle Times, "Philip Morris woos puff-happy Japan for post-smoking era," 23 Oct. 2018 Samsung, which agreed to provide around 100 million OLED displays in the initial deal, had enjoyed a monopoly, which allowed the company to control pricing. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Apple reportedly adds LG as second OLED display supplier for iPhone XS and XS Max," 14 Sep. 2018 But the anti-monopoly fervor would not stand for such an enormous company, and Stanley, considered a champion of the Progressive Era, chaired the proceedings. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, "Before Zuckerberg, These Six Corporate Titans Testified Before Congress," 10 Apr. 2018 Now, instead of one fight on the federal level, telecom giants like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast face countless state-level efforts to keep their monopoly power in check. Karl Bode, The Verge, "California is leading the state-by-state fight for net neutrality," 1 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monopoly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of monopoly

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for monopoly

Latin monopolium, from Greek monopōlion, from mon- + pōlein to sell

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Statistics for monopoly

Last Updated

6 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for monopoly

The first known use of monopoly was in 1534

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English Language Learners Definition of monopoly

: complete control of the entire supply of goods or of a service in a certain area or market
: a large company that has a monopoly
: complete ownership or control of something


mo·​nop·​o·​ly | \ mə-ˈnä-pə-lē How to pronounce monopoly (audio) \
plural monopolies

Kids Definition of monopoly

1 : complete ownership or control of the entire supply of goods or a service in a certain market
2 : a person or group having complete control over something The laws are intended to prevent monopolies.
3 : complete ownership or control of something He thinks he has a monopoly on the truth.


mo·​nop·​o·​ly | \ mə-ˈnä-pə-lē How to pronounce monopoly (audio) \
plural monopolies

Legal Definition of monopoly

1 : exclusive control of a particular market that is marked by the power to control prices and exclude competition and that especially is developed willfully rather than as the result of superior products or skill — see also antitrust, Sherman Antitrust Act
2 : one that has a monopoly

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More from Merriam-Webster on monopoly

Spanish Central: Translation of monopoly

Nglish: Translation of monopoly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of monopoly for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about monopoly

Comments on monopoly

What made you want to look up monopoly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


likely to have or produce good results

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