ol·​i·​gop·​o·​ly | \ ˌä-lə-ˈgä-pə-lē How to pronounce oligopoly (audio) , ˌō- \

Definition of oligopoly

: a market situation in which each of a few producers affects but does not control the market

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Other Words from oligopoly

oligopolist \ ˌä-​lə-​ˈgä-​pə-​list How to pronounce oligopolist (audio) , ˌō-​ \ noun
oligopolistic \ ˌä-​lə-​ˌgä-​pə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce oligopolistic (audio) , ˌō-​ \ adjective

Examples of oligopoly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The party finished third in the poll -- which ended five years under a junta -- on a platform that included rewriting the current constitution, curbing the army’s influence and breaking up oligopolies. Suttinee Yuvejwattana, Bloomberg.com, "Thai Court Says Opposition Party Not Guilty of Seeking to Oust Monarchy," 29 Apr. 2020 But a casual observer still might not consider the housing market as an oligopoly. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, "Economists identify an unseen force holding back affordable housing," 17 Oct. 2019 Visa signed the Roundtable letter championing customers, but is part of a payments oligopoly. The Economist, "The World in 2020 Bosses will pay a price for mixing politics and corporate values," 26 Dec. 2019 This is precisely the kind of oligopoly that the antitrust laws were meant to prevent. Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, "America’s latest corporate takeover: The Justice Department," 19 Dec. 2019 Being the biggest player in a deeply entrenched payments oligopoly turns out to be fabulously lucrative. The Economist, "Schumpeter How Visa became the top dog in global finance," 19 Mar. 2020 The cost of reliably linking tokens to real assets inevitably drives the market towards consolidation, oligopoly and even monopoly. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "When money goes (corona) viral," 11 Mar. 2020 Relationships with city or county officials, which oligopolies have used to cement their advantage since the recession, are often decisive. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, "Economists identify an unseen force holding back affordable housing," 17 Oct. 2019 Thus most carbon emissions remain unpriced, tech giants accumulate more power and oligopolies dominate health care. The Economist, "Elizabeth Warren’s many plans would reshape American capitalism," 24 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oligopoly.' 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 oligopoly

1895, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oligopoly

olig- + -poly (as in monopoly)

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Time Traveler for oligopoly

Time Traveler

The first known use of oligopoly was in 1895

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Statistics for oligopoly

Cite this Entry

“Oligopoly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oligopoly. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for oligopoly


ol·​i·​gop·​o·​ly | \ ˌä-li-ˈgä-pə-lē, ˌō- How to pronounce oligopoly (audio) \
plural oligopolies

Legal Definition of oligopoly

: a condition in which a few sellers dominate a particular market to the detriment of competition by others

More from Merriam-Webster on oligopoly

Nglish: Translation of oligopoly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oligopoly

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