[ ol-i-gop-uh-lee ]
See synonyms for oligopoly on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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 in1890–95; oligo- + (mono)poly

Other words from oligopoly

  • ol·i·gop·o·lis·tic [ol-i-gop-uh-lis-tik], /ˌɒl ɪˌgɒp əˈlɪs tɪk/, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use oligopoly in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for oligopoly


/ (ˌɒlɪˈɡɒpəlɪ) /

nounplural -lies
  1. 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

Origin of oligopoly

C20: from oligo- + Greek pōlein to sell, on the model of monopoly

Derived forms of oligopoly

  • oligopolistic, adjective

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 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.