a combining form meaning “few,” “little,” used in the formation of compound words: oligopoly.
Also, especially before a vowel, olig-.

< Greek, combining form of olígos little, few (in plural)

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World English Dictionary
oligo- or (before a vowel) olig-
combining form
indicating a few or little: oligopoly
[from Greek olígos little, few]
olig- or (before a vowel) olig-
combining form
[from Greek olígos little, few]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

before vowels, olig-, from Gk. oligos "small, little," in plural, "few;" of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

oligo- or olig-
Few: oligosaccharide.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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