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.

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 monopoly in a Sentence

The government passed laws intended to break up monopolies.
Recent Examples on the Web While the Biden administration says market manipulation by Big Oil is behind the shortage of refined fuel right now, the major fossil fuel companies don’t have a monopoly on production. Evan Halper, Anchorage Daily News, 21 June 2022 While the Biden administration says market manipulation by Big Oil is behind the shortage of refined fuel right now, the major fossil fuel companies don’t have a monopoly on production. Evan Halper, Washington Post, 20 June 2022 No political party has a monopoly on political violence, and Mr. Roske is responsible for his actions. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 8 June 2022 Nor does the United States have a monopoly on church burglaries. Elizabeth Djinis, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 June 2022 These third parties have a monopoly on hosting, discovery and usage statistics. Avi Press, Forbes, 1 June 2022 And although Trump endorsed Oz, Barnette said at an April debate that Trump doesn't have a monopoly on the MAGA movement. Adam Brewster, CBS News, 16 May 2022 Of course, its true masterpiece shows Up no longer has the monopoly on condensing relationships into emotionally-devastating six-minute montages. Jon O'brien, The Week, 18 Apr. 2022 Only the government has a monopoly on the use of force that compels citizens to act in one way or another. Erica Goldberg, The Conversation, 13 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for monopoly

Time Traveler

The first known use of monopoly was in 1534

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Dictionary Entries Near monopoly

monopoloid

monopoly

monopolylogue

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Statistics for monopoly

Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Monopoly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/monopoly. Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for monopoly

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
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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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