[ muh-nop-uh-lee ]
See synonyms for: monopolymonopolies on

noun,plural mo·nop·o·lies.
  1. exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices.: Compare duopoly, oligopoly.

  2. an exclusive privilege to carry on a business, traffic, or service, granted by a government.

  1. the exclusive possession or control of something.

  2. something that is the subject of such control, as a commodity or service.

  3. a company or group that has such control.

  4. the market condition that exists when there is only one seller.

  5. (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

First recorded in 1525–35; from Latin monopōlium, from Greek monopṓlion “right of exclusive sale,” from mono- mono- + pōl(eîn) “to sell” + -ion, noun suffix

Other words from monopoly

  • mo·nop·o·loid, adjective
  • an·ti·mo·nop·o·ly, adjective
  • pre·mo·nop·o·ly, noun, plural pre·mo·nop·o·lies, adjective
  • pro·mo·nop·o·ly, adjective

Words Nearby monopoly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use monopoly in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for monopoly (1 of 2)


/ (məˈnɒpəlɪ) /

nounplural -lies
  1. exclusive control of the market supply of a product or service

    • an enterprise exercising this control

    • the product or service so controlled

  1. 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

  2. exclusive control, possession, or use of something

Origin of monopoly

C16: from Late Latin, from Greek monopōlion, from mono- + pōlein to sell

Derived forms of monopoly

  • monopolism, noun
  • monopolist, noun
  • monopolistic, adjective
  • monopolistically, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for Monopoly (2 of 2)


/ (məˈnɒpəlɪ) /

  1. 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

Cultural definitions for monopoly


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

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.