"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[muh-nop-uh-lee] /məˈnɒp ə li/
noun, plural monopolies.
exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices.
Compare duopoly, oligopoly.
an exclusive privilege to carry on a business, traffic, or service, granted by a government.
the exclusive possession or control of something.
something that is the subject of such control, as a commodity or service.
a company or group that has such control.
the market condition that exists when there is only one seller.
(initial capital letter) a board game in which a player attempts to gain a monopoly of real estate by advancing around the board and purchasing property, acquiring capital by collecting rent from other players whose pieces land on that property.
Origin of monopoly
1525-35; < Latin monopōlium < Greek monopṓlion right of exclusive sale, equivalent to mono- mono- + pōl(eîn) to sell + -ion noun suffix
Related forms
monopoloid, adjective
antimonopoly, adjective
premonopoly, noun, plural premonopolies, adjective
promonopoly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for monopolies
  • We have never made any such statement as he alleges about monopolies.
  • Redundancy and decentralization are our friends, and the enemies of tyrants and monopolies the world round.
  • monopolies are the natural state of many businesses in highly-connected environments.
  • Until recently, newspapers were accustomed to operating as high-margin monopolies.
  • From an economic, standpoint copyright and patent laws are granting monopolies to people in a much smaller sense of the term.
  • We should do away with government monopolies in commerce and industry and guarantee the freedom to start new enterprises.
  • As the old media monopolies crumbled, a host of smaller players rushed forward, offering a new plurality of voices.
  • On the other, network effects help to create monopolies.
  • They crowd out entrepreneurs and create their own monopolies.
  • The newspapers that have built successful pay walls tend to hold virtual monopolies over news in their region.
British Dictionary definitions for monopolies


noun (pl) -lies
exclusive control of the market supply of a product or service
  1. an enterprise exercising this control
  2. the product or service so controlled
(law) the exclusive right or privilege granted to a person, company, etc, by the state to purchase, manufacture, use, or sell some commodity or to carry on trade in a specified country or area
exclusive control, possession, or use of something
Derived Forms
monopolism, noun
monopolist, noun
monopolistic, adjective
monopolistically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin, from Greek monopōlion, from mono- + pōlein to sell


trademark a board game for two to six players who throw dice to advance their tokens around a board, the object being to acquire the property on which their tokens land
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for monopolies



"exclusive control of a commodity or trade," 1530s, from Latin monopolium, from Greek monopolion "right of exclusive sale," from mono- + polein "to sell," from PIE root *pel- (5) "to sell" (cf. Sanskrit panate "barters, purchases," Lithuanian pelnas "gain," Old Church Slavonic splenu, Russian polon "prey, booty," Old Norse falr, Dutch veil, German feil "for sale, venal").

Alternative form monopole (1540s, from the Old French form of the word) was common in 16c. The popular board game, invented by Charles Darrow, is from 1935. Monopoly money "unreal currency" is attested from 1972, in reference to the paper used in the game.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
monopolies in Culture

monopoly definition

The exclusive control by one company of a service or product.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for monopoly

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for monopolies

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with monopolies