Meaning of monopoly in English:


Pronunciation /məˈnɒpəli/

Translate monopoly into Spanish

nounplural noun 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He did at one stage manage to employ one quarter of that number, but even with the monopoly on army supplies he never broke even.’
    • ‘The firm has an effective monopoly on the supermarket trolley advertising business in Ireland.’
    • ‘Personal medical services break the monopoly of the independently contracted general practitioner.’
    • ‘The Company lost its monopoly on Indian trade in 1813, and its charter for Chinese trade was removed in 1833, after which it ceased to be a trading concern.’
    • ‘If this competition were to be removed then the private companies would have a monopoly on the collection service and would therefore be free to charge as they pleased.’
    • ‘Indeed, ‘Samuel was thought to enjoy a virtual monopoly on all Moroccan trade with the Netherlands’.’
    • ‘As a general rule, these companies were given a monopoly on trade in a region.’
    • ‘The Post Office has a monopoly on these services and customers do not have the luxury of choosing another supplier in the immediate area.’
    • ‘The only way to break their hold is to remove their monopoly on supply.’
    • ‘The heroine lives in a remote village in Olea - the corporation/state that has a global monopoly on olive oil production.’
    • ‘Sovereignty resides in the people and no branch may claim to possess a monopoly of the sovereign powers.’
    • ‘Conservative governments commercialised a public service, broke its monopoly on stamp sales and closed many hundreds of sub post offices.’
    • ‘In Pattaya, by contrast, the baht bus enjoys a de facto monopoly on the taxi service.’
    • ‘Deregulation has the effect of causing many state-owned insurers to lose their monopoly on the local markets.’
    • ‘It used to have a ‘wow factor’ and a monopoly on upmarket shops, but these retailers have been opening up in other parts of London and in towns all over the country.’
    • ‘That's the legal term used to describe a company that leverages a monopoly in one market into an adjacent area.’
    • ‘The planned expansion is expected to put the company in a competitive position if Gasprom's monopoly over natural gas transportation is waived.’
    1. 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In its attempt to raise more revenue from the sale of these enterprises, the government alienated citizens by replacing public monopolies with protected private monopolies.’
      • ‘I am opposed to turning public monopolies into private monopolies.’
      • ‘It will remain a state-owned monopoly, providing healthcare free at the point of need.’
      • ‘Production was traditionally concentrated in the hands of large state-owned monopolies largely in the extractive, defence, and machine tool industries.’
      • ‘State-owned monopolies provided bad service at high prices.’
      • ‘State monopolies or privileged private companies secure strategic resources and keep open the conduits that provide money to the metropole.’
      • ‘Tycoons operate monopolies through the blessing of governments, central and regional, and with support from corrupt courts and bureaucrats.’
      • ‘Working for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Mr Lay became a keen advocate of the liberalisation of gas and electricity monopolies.’
      • ‘The Essential Services Act would also apply to water, gas and other key public services now controlled by private monopolies.’
      • ‘Do we really want to return to the bad old days of state-owned monopolies in the utilities sector?’
      • ‘The market is slowing, mainly due to the inflated prices that are caused by real estate agency monopolies and high commissions.’
      • ‘He just resented giving it to the shareholders of privatised monopolies.’
      • ‘He says five years after the state owned electricity monopolies were broken up and competition introduced, the electricity market is fast losing ground.’
      • ‘Whilst privatisation proceeds apace and monopolies are being dismantled, there is clearly a long way to go before a market economy will truly exist here.’
      • ‘It has been taken over by large monopolies - money-grubbing companies.’
      • ‘And companies with unique products or monopolies also can raise prices almost at will.’
      • ‘It is a well-known phrase that if there is one thing worse than a public monopoly, it is a private monopoly.’
    2. 1.2A commodity or service in the exclusive control of a company or group.
      ‘electricity, gas, and water were considered to be natural monopolies’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But in situations not involving either land or natural monopolies, his clear preference was for private enterprise and private ownership.’
      • ‘As we've discussed, fiber is an area where it might make sense for a single network that everyone has access to, since it's a natural monopoly.’
      • ‘But Railtrack is a natural monopoly and if it is to work in the interest of the people, rather than shareholders, then it must be owned by the people.’
      • ‘It is a natural monopoly and best owned by the state, he thought.’
      • ‘The electricity grid in a local neighborhood is a good example of a natural monopoly.’
      • ‘Most roads are natural monopolies with few substitutes.’
      • ‘Keep in mind that electric power is a natural monopoly.’
      • ‘After all, health care is not a public good or natural monopoly so one can't argue that government must provide it.’
      • ‘The root cause of public sector inefficiency is the fact that public services are government monopolies which are immune from competitive pressures.’
    3. 1.3usually with negative The exclusive possession, control, or exercise of something.
      ‘men don't have a monopoly on unrequited love’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We don't need a Walt Disney monopoly on creativity.’
      • ‘The militias pose a long-term problem for security, since they violate the state's monopoly on the use of force.’
      • ‘By the beginning of the '60s, television was loosening newspapers' monopoly on the news.’
      • ‘Of course, this country has no monopoly on ridiculous elections.’
      • ‘America has no monopoly on nation-building or reconstruction experience.’
      • ‘No continent has a monopoly on violence and conquest.’
      • ‘Small island states often make mistakes, but they have no monopoly on error.’
      • ‘Architects have no unique insights into these questions and have no monopoly on the answers but, as citizens, they have as much to offer as anyone else.’
      • ‘The party's monopoly on power remains unchanged.’
      • ‘Today, however, the show is generally acknowledged as a landmark event that cracked the West's monopoly on contemporary art.’
      • ‘Most representative, as well as most worrisome, is the fact that the state's monopoly on weapons is being seriously challenged.’
      • ‘But America's monopoly on the weapon until 1949 saved Western Europe from Stalinism.’
      • ‘The concept of peace is open, like freedom and justice, with no culture having any monopoly on its definition.’
      • ‘Taipei has no monopoly on interpreting Taiwan's culture.’
      • ‘It may even be that critical intellectuals have some special obligations, though they have no monopoly on thinking or wisdom.’
      • ‘Chew's success demonstrates that professional historians have no monopoly on environmental history.’
      • ‘Clinical trials have no special monopoly on the high intellectual road and certainly not on the truth about suffering people.’
  • 2

    (also 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 introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow; a forerunner of the game had been patented on 5 January 1904 as ‘The Landlord's Game’ by Elizabeth J. Magie.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘Just an empty lot, about the size of a Monopoly board.’
    • ‘To your left, dotted all around, are the byres which characterise the region, their uniformity and neat, pitched roofs reminiscent of houses on a Monopoly board.’


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