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.
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.”
These cases are part of the monopoly moment that we are in right now.The Supreme Court Is Weighing Corporate Power Yet Again|Zephyr Teachout|October 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
For nearly two thousand years, religious groups have held a monopoly on how to teach morals to young children.
Ken Burns practically has a monopoly on televised public history and especially the history broadcast by PBS.
Fashion has made Jezebel surrender her monopoly of the rouge-pot.The Works of Max Beerbohm|Max Beerbohm
Powerful as the International is, it is still far from the place where business is one long sweet dream of monopoly.The Romance of the Reaper|Herbert Newton Casson
Still, you see, our isolated position gives us a monopoly, and we're small enough to take a personal interest in our older hands.For the Allinson Honor|Harold Bindloss
The detailed conditions of this monopoly were never made public.Due South or Cuba Past and Present|Maturin M. Ballou
There is the usual continental bother in obtaining post-horses, which results from their being a monopoly of government.Gatherings From Spain|Richard Ford
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.