mo·​nop·​so·​ny | \ mə-ˈnäp-sə-nē How to pronounce monopsony (audio) \
plural monopsonies

Definition of monopsony

: an oligopsony limited to one buyer

Other Words from monopsony

monopsonistic \ mə-​ˌnäp-​sə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce monopsony (audio) \ adjective

Did you know?

You're probably familiar with the word monopoly, but you may not recognize its conceptual and linguistic relative, the much rarer oligopsony. Both monopoly and oligopsony are ultimately from Greek, although monopoly passed through Latin before being adopted into English. Monopoly comes from the Greek prefix mono-, which means "one," and pōlein, "to sell." Oligopsony derives from the combining form olig-, meaning "few," and the Greek noun opsōnia—"the purchase of victuals"—which is ultimately from the combination of opson, "food," and ōneisthai, "to buy." It makes sense, then, that oligopsony refers to a buyer's market in which the seller is subjected to the potential demands of a limited pool of buyers. Another related word is monopsony, used for a more extreme oligopsony in which there is only a single buyer.

Examples of monopsony in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An enterprise with a single buyer, called a monopsony, typically means lower prices for producers. Dan Kaufman, The New Yorker, 17 Aug. 2021 If a monopoly is a market with one dominant seller, a monopsony is its inverse, a market where one buyer is pre-eminent. Christopher Mims, WSJ, 29 Jan. 2022 That suit was filed before Kanter was confirmed, though the attorney did raise monopsony concerns in his confirmation testimony. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Jan. 2022 There is only one military customer that matters, the government, and thus the defense market has the characteristics of a monopsony. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 But, in a monopsony market such as the NCAA, the NCAA’s lawyers simply cannot make ‘quick look legal’ happen. Marc Edelman, Forbes, 21 June 2021 In a monopsony market, there is only one buyer, and so there is no upward pressure on wages. Nick Romeo, The New Yorker, 23 Mar. 2021 Among economists, there’s a debate about whether the company is creating a kind of monopsony, where there’s only one buyer—or in this case one employer. al, 18 Dec. 2020 Liberal economists and Democrats say that raising the minimum wage is unlikely to have a significant negative effect on jobs because of the monopsony power that employers have. Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner, 4 Dec. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of monopsony

1933, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for monopsony

mon- + -opsony (as in oligopsony)

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The first known use of monopsony was in 1933

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Cite this Entry

“Monopsony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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