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See also: Monopoly


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From Latin monopōlium, from Ancient Greek μονοπώλιον (monopṓlion, a right of exclusive sale), from μόνος (mónos, sole) + πωλέω (pōléō, I barter, sell).



monopoly (plural monopolies)

  1. A situation, by legal privilege or other agreement, in which solely one party (company, cartel etc.) exclusively provides a particular product or service, dominating that market and generally exerting powerful control over it.
    • 2013 August 10, “Can China clean up fast enough?”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      It has jailed environmental activists and is planning to limit the power of judicial oversight by handing a state-approved body a monopoly over bringing environmental lawsuits.
    • 2014 June 1, John Oliver, “Net Neutrality”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 1, episode 5, HBO:
      Exactly! You can’t reduce the competition when nobody is competing! You could not be describing a monopoly more clearly if you were wearing a metal top hat while driving a metal car after winning second prize in a beauty contest!
  2. An exclusive control over the trade or production of a commodity or service through exclusive possession.
    A land monopoly renders its holder(s) nearly almighty in an agricultural society.
  3. The privilege granting the exclusive right to exert such control.
    Granting monopolies in concession constitutes a market-conform alternative to taxation for the state, while the crown sometimes bestowed a monopoly as an outrageous gift.
  4. (metonymically) The market thus controlled.
  5. (metonymically) The holder (person, company or other) of such market domination in one of the the above manners.



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Further reading[edit]





  1. nominative plural of monopol
  2. accusative plural of monopol
  3. vocative plural of monopol
  4. instrumental plural of monopol



monopoly m (uncountable)

  1. Monopoly (board game)