corner the market

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corner the market

  1. (idiomatic, business, finance) To monopolize a resource or commodity, as with the intent of driving up prices.
    • 1903, Frank Norris, chapter 7, in The Pit:
      "Why, there ain't going to be any wheat left in Chicago by May! If I get in now and buy a long line of cash wheat, where are all these fellows who've sold short going to get it to deliver to me?" . . . Jadwin sprang forward, gripping the broker by the shoulder. "Sam," he shouted, ". . . we can corner the market!"
  2. (idiomatic, by extension) To have exclusive possession; to possess something to a high or excessive degree.
    • 1916, Elbert Hubbard, Little Journeys, "Vol. 12: Great Scientists—John Tyndall,"
      It will not do to say that the Irish have a monopoly on stupidity, yet there have been times when I thought they nearly cornered the market.