monopoly

noun
mo·nop·o·ly | \ mə-ˈnä-p(ə-)lē \
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

Is there to be a monopoly of knowledge; are the products of all English brains to be stamped like broadcloth and woolpacks? Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Death of the Public Square," 6 July 2018 For 71 years, until 2000, the nation’s politics were a one-party monopoly. New York Times, "Criminal Groups Seek to Decide Outcome in Many Mexican Races," 1 July 2018 Both sides had committed atrocities; there was no monopoly on suffering. Matías Costa, Smithsonian, "The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War," 28 June 2018 The fact that one property on the boardwalk is taking sports action is a monumental leap from where New Jersey was at this time last year when Nevada still had the sports betting monopoly. Ed Barkowitz, Philly.com, "Sports betting comes to Atlantic City boardwalk on Thursday with opening of Ocean Resort," 27 June 2018 The power authority has been a monopoly that practically abandoned maintenance of the electrical system's infrastructure over the past decade. Nicole Acevedo /, NBC News, "Puerto Rico's new law moves to privatize power grid nine months after Hurricane Maria," 20 June 2018 This was a time when American Bell was ruthlessly amassing monopoly positions in metropolitan areas, skimming the cream by signing up subscribers close to their exchange offices. Darryl Levings, kansascity, "Kansas City has been dialed in to telephone innovations from the very beginning," 2 June 2018 Regulators can deny or cancel licenses or tie up companies by launching tax, environmental or anti-monopoly investigations. Joe Macdonald, Anchorage Daily News, "China vows retaliation for latest US tariff threat," 11 July 2018 Regulators can deny or cancel licenses or tie up companies by launching tax, environmental or anti-monopoly investigations. NBC News, "China vows retaliation as U.S. ups trade war ante, threatens tariffs on $200 billion of goods," 11 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about monopoly

Statistics for monopoly

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for monopoly

The first known use of monopoly was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for monopoly

monopoly

noun

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

monopoly

noun
mo·nop·o·ly | \ mə-ˈnä-pə-lē \
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.

monopoly

noun
mo·nop·o·ly | \ mə-ˈnä-pə-lē \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Britannica.com: 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!