Definition of oligopoly in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌäləˈɡäpəlē/

noun (plural oligopolies)

A state of limited competition, in which a market is shared by a small number of producers or sellers.
Example sentences
  • With limited competition, or oligopolies, the various players within a particular industry will most likely have different cost structures.
  • For the rest of the farming community, the future is precarious, with economic independence destroyed by market oligopolies, and by the decline in flexibility and choice which this entails.
  • Mr Mosho said that commercial banks might be colluding making the market into an oligopoly with little benefit to the consumers.



Pronunciation: /ˌäləˈɡäpələst/
Example sentences
  • Price wars between oligopolists can be very expensive to participants, so there is a tendency to find alternative ways to compete for customers, such as free gifts, coupons, added value offers, and sponsorship activities.
  • The legal confrontation will pit a small group of powerful, technophobic oligopolists against a hip, youthful army of digital sophisticates - who are the very heart of the companies' consumer base.
  • The transformation of Electricité de France and its sister company Gaz de France from state-owned monopolists to state-controlled oligopolists is at last under way.


Pronunciation: /ˌäliˌɡäpəˈlistik/
Example sentences
  • The market imperfections model offers a varied approach which explains the firm's motives for engaging in international business activities under monopolistic and oligopolistic market structures.
  • Markets are most likely to be oligopolistic where economies of scale are significant, for example oligopoly is typical of oil refining and distribution, pharmaceuticals, car manufacturing, and detergents.
  • Like all cartels, the IMF uses its oligopolistic power to pursue political objectives.


Late 19th century: from oligo- 'small number', on the pattern of monopoly.

Words that rhyme with oligopoly

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