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

Other Words from oligopoly

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

Examples of oligopoly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The prescription hearing-aid industry, led by an oligopoly known as the Big Five that controls more than 90 percent of the market for hearing aids, failed to stop the bill. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 30 June 2022 Unlike the evil oligarchy of ancient Athens, the A.I. oligopoly set out to do good. Wendell Wallach, Fortune, 16 June 2022 Both Biden and Congress seek to blame an anti-competitive oligopoly of foreign shipping lines for colluding to artificially raise prices on American consumers. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, 17 June 2022 But against that, consider that Micron is part of an oligopoly in memory chips. John Dorfman, Forbes, 16 May 2022 Each warned that the cloud oligopoly carries risks for customers if the sector becomes lethargic, but none called for a government crackdown. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 8 Mar. 2022 No other market in the world is left to function with so little oversight and with such asymmetrical terms in favor of an oligopoly. Maritza Johnson, Fortune, 28 Feb. 2022 The disk drive market is an oligopoly with three players. John Dorfman, Forbes, 31 Jan. 2022 Attacking the meat oligopoly has its economic and political virtues. Jan Dutkiewicz, The New Republic, 6 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of oligopoly

1895, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oligopoly

olig- + -poly (as in monopoly)

Learn More About oligopoly

Time Traveler for oligopoly

Time Traveler

The first known use of oligopoly was in 1895

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near oligopoly




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for oligopoly

Last Updated

22 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oligopoly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oligopoly. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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