Definition of monopoly in English:

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Pronunciation: /məˈnɒp(ə)li/

noun (plural monopolies)

1The exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service: the state’s monopoly of radio and television broadcasting
More example sentences
  • With cities from Shanghai to Beijing to Shenzhen vying for a piece of the action, Hong Kong is losing its monopoly on China trade.
  • From its harbours, Albuquerque's fleet brutally enforced the Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade.
  • Decriminalisation has all the disadvantages of increased use while allowing gangs to retain their virtual monopoly on production and supply.
1.1A company or group having exclusive control over a commodity or service: passenger services were largely in the hands of state-owned monopolies France’s electricity monopoly, EDF
More example sentences
  • One manifestation of this obsession has been the dismantling of what were once state-owned monopolies such as electricity suppliers and public transport networks into smaller, competing units.
  • State-owned monopolies continued to control electricity and water supply, railways and harbours, broadcasting, air transport, and much steel production.
  • Unfortunately, many of the businesses mooted for privatization are either virtual monopolies or operate in oligopolistic environments.
1.2A commodity or service in the exclusive control of a company or group: electricity, gas, and water were considered to be natural monopolies
More example sentences
  • Further it said as a natural monopoly the rail network presents a rather different problem.
  • Communications networks have long been considered natural monopolies vital to national commercial and security interests.
  • The highway system is a natural monopoly if the way to get goods and services to various destinations is the automobile.
1.3 [usually with negative] The exclusive possession, control, or exercise of something: men don’t have a monopoly on unrequited love
More example sentences
  • But don't think for a second that the Fed has some kind of monopoly on a situation where rapacity pervades honest reason.
  • I felt that, as a person with the disease, I'd have a sort of monopoly on jokes about it.
  • My piece on the breakup of the Left's monopoly on opinion and information generated enormous feedback - most of it favorable.
2 (Monopoly) trademark A board game in which players engage in simulated property and financial dealings using imitation money. It was invented in the US and the name was coined by Charles Darrow circa 1935.
Example sentences
  • He has spent thousands of pounds on the collection which includes a Batman and Robin version of Monopoly, a Monopoly fruit machine and a specially-made wooden board worth £700.
  • Hmmm… I know they often say ‘hailstones the size of golf balls,’ but this seemed to be more like a hailstone the size of a Monopoly hotel.
  • Sales were helped by a Monopoly game promotion.


Mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek monopōlion, from monos 'single' + pōlein 'sell'.

Words that rhyme with monopoly


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mon|op¦oly

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