monopoly

noun
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

Many lawmakers perhaps first heard of the company when a Facebook executive pointed to its rise at a hearing this year as evidence that Facebook didn’t hold a monopoly on people’s attention spans online. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, "TikTok’s Beijing roots fuel censorship suspicion as it builds a huge U.S. audience," 15 Sep. 2019 Due to their seafaring prowess, Spain and Portugal held a monopoly on trade in the Far East. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How the East India Company became the world’s most powerful business," 6 Sep. 2019 Following the 2010 departure of Google from the market amid government censorship, Baidu has enjoyed a near-monopoly in internet search in China. Casey Newton, The Verge, "It’s time to end “trending” on Twitter," 13 Aug. 2019 Those pocket-sized gadgets undermined sales of PCs, where Intel had a de facto monopoly. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Intel's New Chip Wizard Has a Plan to Bring Back the Magic," 3 July 2019 Picture a squat but unyielding mountain, which is perhaps a fitting symbol for the mayors who have a near monopoly on power in municipal government. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "50 years of pols and paper chases: Tales from inside City Hall," 27 June 2019 Then in 2005, the California attorney general’s office accused Vons of violating federal antitrust laws, alleging the chain held a monopoly over the island. Gustavo Arellano, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Must Reads: On Catalina Island, one of L.A.’s unofficial ‘food deserts’ parties over a humble Vons," 4 June 2019 Then in 2005, the California attorney general’s office accused Vons of violating federal antitrust laws, alleging the chain held a monopoly over the island. Gustavo Arellano, latimes.com, "On Catalina Island, one of L.A.’s unofficial ‘food deserts’ parties over a humble Vons," 4 June 2019 Newspapers in most cities had consolidated down to one or two dailies, leaving the survivors with a near monopoly on print advertising in metropolitan markets. Paul Starr, The New York Review of Books, "Fall from Grace," 21 Mar. 2019

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

19 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for monopoly

The first known use of monopoly was in 1534

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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 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.

monopoly

noun
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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about monopoly

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