noun, plural mo·nop·o·lies.
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Origin of monopoly
OTHER WORDS FROM monopolymo·nop·o·loid, adjectivean·ti·mo·nop·o·ly, adjectivepre·mo·nop·o·ly, noun, plural pre·mo·nop·o·lies, adjectivepro·mo·nop·o·ly, adjective
Words nearby monopoly
ABOUT THIS WORD
How much money do you start with in Monopoly?
The $1,500 consists of 2 $500 bills, 2 $100 bills, and 2 $50 bills. It also includes 6 $20 bills; 5 $10 bills, 5 $5 bills, and 5 $1 bills.
What does Monopoly money mean?
Monopoly money refers to the play money used in the board game Monopoly.
It can also be used to describe money that shares qualities with play money either in appearance or in perceived lack of value.
Where did the game Monopoly come from?
Parker Brothers released the now-classic board game Monopoly in 1935. Charles Darrow, usually credited as the game’s creator, played an early, homemade version of the game in 1932. This, in turn, was based on The Landlord’s Game, patented by its creator Elizabeth Magie in 1904. Both the Parker Brothers game and Magie’s featured physical play money for gameplay.
How to use the term Monopoly money
As the game Monopoly gained popularity, people began to use Monopoly money to describe money that in some way resembled the fake money from the game. That could mean money with real value that looks or feels strange physically, like the multi-colored, thin paper bills from the game. It could also refer to scrip, vouchers, or other tokens that only have value in certain limited circumstances.
The 1949 book Grandparents Go Abroad compared the German Deutsche Mark to Monopoly money in look and feel. During 1958 hearings about payola, a bribery scheme between music publishers and radio stations, a witness before the U.S. House of Representatives claimed that the record company BMI was handing out Monopoly money to get airplay. The witness invoked the game, suggesting that the money was thrown around “indiscriminately” like play money. The term was used again in a Congressional hearing in 1976, this time to describe the scrip used for the food-stamps welfare program.
In 1998, a New Yorker cartoon, featuring the Monopoly mascot Mr. Moneybags as a bank teller, invoked Monopoly money to describe the look and feel of the newly revamped twenty-dollar bill.
In colloquial speech and writing, counterfeit money is sometimes called Monopoly money for rhetorical effect to indicate its worthlessness, and, in the case of poor counterfeits, its fake appearance. The phrase Monopoly money has other, unrelated, uses which predate the board game and which are worth noting here.
As early as 1901, monopoly money was used to describe money made and held by actual monopolists. Monopoly money has also been used to refer to currency issued by a government as early as 1915, when Alfred and Maud Westrup contrasted monopoly money with a plan by landowners to issue their own currency. Monopoly money in this sense was a point of contention discussed by the U.S. Congress during hearings for the Banking Act of 1935, which restructured the governance of the Federal Reserve.
Several writers addressed the perceived weaknesses of monopoly money in the 1980s. In 1984, for example, a group called the Choice-in-Currency Commission proposed that gold coins should compete with “the Federal Reserve System’s monopoly money.” Here, monopoly money may have additionally referred to the monopolistic and capitalistic needs to win the board game.
More examples of Monopoly money:
“We see various types of forged bills…Some are fairly sophisticated, and some are not. Some you can see why people would be fooled. Others look like Monopoly money.”
—Joe Messerich, WQAD, March 2018
“A lot of times we exceed goals but our productivity rate is not high enough to get a full bonus which doesn’t make sense…We meet and exceed our goals constantly and as a reward we get a “congratulations” or “swag bucks,” which is basically Monopoly money that we can use in the Swag Store [which sells Amazon merchandise].”
—Amazon employee quoted by Shelby Rogers, Interesting Engineering, March, 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for monopoly
The Open Markets Institute, a nonprofit group that advocates against corporate monopolies, released a paper Monday criticizing Amazon’s employee surveillance practices.After public outcry, Amazon deletes listings for 2 intelligence jobs that involved tracking ‘labor organizing threats’|rhhackettfortune|September 1, 2020|Fortune
Microsoft was legally found to be a monopoly 20 years ago, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and ordered broken into two companies.Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook set to preview antitrust defenses before Congress|Greg Sterling|July 28, 2020|Search Engine Land
That system is currently owned by San Diego Gas and Electric, which enjoyed an energy monopoly in the region until recently.Environment Report: The Latest Power Struggles for SDG&E and Sempra|MacKenzie Elmer|June 29, 2020|Voice of San Diego
Because SDG&E is an energy monopoly in our city, they can do what they want and have proven to put their profits over our city’s best interests.Franchise Fee Deal Is a Chance for the City to Make Much-Needed Changes|Pia Piscitelli|June 23, 2020|Voice of San Diego
Another article from 2007 talking about how MySpace had an unbreakable monopoly in terms of social networking.
Most of the vendors were, like this woman, honorary Jews for the night, not that Jews have a monopoly on potato pancakes.
For decades, these two industrial brewers have basked in a sort of shared-monopoly over the Panamanian beer racket.House of the Witch: The Renegade Craft Brewers of Panama|Jeff Campagna|November 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Mattson says the government bogarts this stuff, gathered at taxpayer expense, and maintains “a monopoly on the data.”
Ma wrote online, “Let the users decide who wins the game, not monopoly and power.”
And lest you be deceived, primary elections are no partisan monopoly.
In 1622 a monopoly of the importation of tobacco was granted to the Virginia and Somers Island, companies.
He continued its sale, however, as a kingly monopoly, allowing only those to engage in it who paid him for the privilege.
From its first cultivation in these countries it has been a government monopoly.
Let it be observed also that we have hitherto been speaking as if all things were produced under a monopoly.
It is the one which is sometimes called in books on economics the case of an unique monopoly.
British Dictionary definitions for monopoly (1 of 2)
noun plural -lies
- an enterprise exercising this control
- the product or service so controlled
Derived forms of monopolymonopolism, nounmonopolist, nounmonopolistic, adjectivemonopolistically, adverb
Word Origin for monopoly
British Dictionary definitions for monopoly (2 of 2)
Cultural definitions for monopoly
The exclusive control by one company of a service or product.