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See more 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).
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Origin of oligopoly

First recorded in 1890–95; oligo- + (mono)poly
Related formsol·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. 2018

Related Words for oligopoly

patent, trust, cartel, holding, ownership, syndicate, proprietorship, corner, pool, copyright, oligopoly, consortium, possessorship

Examples from the Web for oligopoly

Contemporary Examples of oligopoly

British Dictionary definitions for oligopoly


noun plural -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
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Derived Formsoligopolistic, adjective

Word Origin for oligopoly

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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

oligopoly in Culture


[(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.

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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.