A monopoly is the exclusive ownership or control of something. If your sister claims a monopoly over the television during the Tom Cruise movie marathon, you would be wise not to touch that remote.

In economics, a monopoly specifically means the domination of a market by one owner or seller. Think of the board game Monopoly. You’re trying to own all the properties so that you have a monopoly over the board and the other players have to pay you basically anywhere they land. You might recognize the prefix mono, meaning “one." Add it to the Greek word polein which means “sell,” and there you have it — one seller.

Definitions of monopoly
  1. noun
    (economics) a market in which there are many buyers but only one seller
    “a monopoly on silver”
    “when you have a monopoly you can ask any price you like”
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    a temporary monopoly on a kind of commercial trade
    type of:
    market, market place, marketplace
    the world of commercial activity where goods and services are bought and sold
  2. noun
    exclusive control or possession of something
    “They have no monopoly on intelligence”
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    type of:
    ascendance, ascendancy, ascendence, ascendency, control, dominance
    the state that exists when one person or group has power over another
Word Family
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