Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ol-i-gop-uh-lee] /ˌɒl ɪˈgɒp ə li/
the market condition that exists when there are few sellers, as a result of which they can greatly influence price and other market factors.
Compare duopoly, monopoly (def 1).
Origin of oligopoly
First recorded in 1890-95; oligo- + (mono)poly
Related forms
[ol-i-gop-uh-lis-tik] /ˌɒl ɪˌgɒp əˈlɪs tɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for oligopoly
Contemporary Examples
British Dictionary definitions for oligopoly


noun (pl) -lies
(economics) a market situation in which control over the supply of a commodity is held by a small number of producers each of whom is able to influence prices and thus directly affect the position of competitors
Derived Forms
oligopolistic, adjective
Word Origin
C20: from oligo- + Greek pōlein to sell, on the model of monopoly
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 oligopoly

1887, from Medieval Latin oligopolium, from Greek oligos "little, small," in plural, "the few" (see oligo-) + polein "to sell" (see monopoly).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
oligopoly in Culture
oligopoly [(ol-i-gop-uh-lee, oh-li-gop-uh-lee)]

Control over the production and sale of a product or service by a few companies.

The 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

Nearby words for oligopoly

Word Value for oligopoly

Scrabble Words With Friends