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 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 In 2016, Nokia’s acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, itself a merger of French and American companies, created today’s three-giant oligopoly. Stu Woo, WSJ, 26 May 2021 Monopoly or oligopoly seems to be the order of the day. Steve Lohr, New York Times, 20 May 2021 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, 29 Apr. 2020 But a casual observer still might not consider the housing market as an oligopoly. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2019 Visa signed the Roundtable letter championing customers, but is part of a payments oligopoly. The Economist, 26 Dec. 2019 This is precisely the kind of oligopoly that the antitrust laws were meant to prevent. Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2019 Being the biggest player in a deeply entrenched payments oligopoly turns out to be fabulously lucrative. The Economist, 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, 11 Mar. 2020

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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Learn More About oligopoly

Time Traveler for oligopoly

Time Traveler

The first known use of oligopoly was in 1895

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Statistics for oligopoly

Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oligopoly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oligopoly. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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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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