Definition: Monopoly

From New World Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Monopoly)


From Latin monopōlium, from Ancient Greek μονοπώλιον or monopṓlion (a right of exclusive sale), from μόνος or mónos (sole) + πωλέω or pōléō (I barter, sell).


monopoly (plural monopolies)

  1. A situation, by legal privilege or other agreement, in which solely one party (company, cartel, etc.) exclusively provides a particular product or service, dominating that market and generally exerting powerful control over it.
  2. An exclusive control over the trade or production of a commodity or service through exclusive possession.
    A land monopoly renders its holder(s) nearly almighty in an agricultural society.
  3. The privilege granting the exclusive right to exert such control.
  4. The market thus controlled.
  5. The holder (person, company or other) of such market domination in one of the above manners.

Derived terms

  • monopolistic
  • monopolization
  • natural monopoly


New World Encyclopedia writers and editors copied and adjusted this Wiktionary entry in accordance with NWE standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit for this article is due to both New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions at Wiktionary is accessible to researchers here: