Definition of MONOPOLY


A monopoly is a noun that describes a situation in which a single entity or group holds exclusive control or dominance over a particular market, industry, resource, or activity. In a monopoly, there is no effective competition, allowing the monopolizing entity to dictate terms, prices, and conditions to consumers or competitors without constraint.

Monopoly as a Market Structure: As a market structure, a monopoly is characterized by a lack of viable substitutes and barriers to entry that prevent new competitors from entering the market. Monopolies may arise due to factors such as control over essential resources, technological superiority, economies of scale, or government regulations that grant exclusive rights or privileges.

Features of Monopolies: Monopolies exhibit several distinctive features, including the absence of competition, the ability to set prices independently of market forces, and the potential for excess profits. Without competition to constrain their behavior, monopolies may engage in practices such as price discrimination, product tying, or predatory pricing to further solidify their market dominance.

Types of Monopolies: Monopolies can take various forms, including natural monopolies, government-granted monopolies, and artificial monopolies. Natural monopolies occur when economies of scale or network effects result in a single firm being the most efficient provider of a particular good or service. Government-granted monopolies arise from legal protections or exclusive licenses granted by authorities. Artificial monopolies may arise from anticompetitive practices or mergers that eliminate competition.

Effects of Monopolies: The effects of monopolies on consumers, competitors, and society can be profound. Consumers may face higher prices, reduced product quality, or limited choices when monopolies control essential goods or services. Competitors may be driven out of the market or marginalized, stifling innovation and entrepreneurship. Socially, monopolies can exacerbate income inequality and concentrate economic power in the hands of a few, raising concerns about fairness and social welfare.

Regulation and Antitrust Measures: To address the negative effects of monopolies, governments often implement regulations and antitrust measures aimed at promoting competition and protecting consumer interests. Antitrust laws may prohibit anticompetitive practices such as price-fixing, market allocation, or abuse of dominance. Regulatory agencies may also monitor mergers and acquisitions to prevent the formation of monopolies or enforce structural remedies to address anticompetitive behavior.

Challenges and Controversies: Despite efforts to regulate monopolies, challenges and controversies persist. Rapid technological advancements, globalization, and evolving business models present new challenges for antitrust enforcement and competition policy. Emerging digital platforms and network-based industries raise questions about the adequacy of existing regulatory frameworks and the need for innovative approaches to address monopolistic tendencies.

In conclusion, a monopoly represents a market structure characterized by exclusive control or dominance by a single entity. While monopolies can arise from various factors and take different forms, their effects on consumers, competitors, and society are significant and complex. Addressing the challenges posed by monopolies requires robust regulation, effective enforcement, and a commitment to promoting competition and consumer welfare in the marketplace.

MONOPOLY in a sentence

  • The telecommunications company had a monopoly on local phone services for years.
  • Governments often regulate businesses to prevent the formation of a monopoly.
  • The board game “Monopoly” is popular for teaching basic economic principles.
  • Critics argue that a monopoly stifles competition and innovation.
  • The tech giant was accused of trying to create a monopoly in the software market.
  • Breaking up a monopoly can lead to more competitive pricing for consumers.
  • The energy sector was dominated by a monopoly until new laws encouraged competition.
  • Having a monopoly on resources allowed the company to control the market prices.

Etymology of MONOPOLY

The term monopoly has its etymological roots in Greek and Latin, providing insights into its linguistic origins.

  • Greek Influence: The prefix “mono-” originates from the Greek word “monos,” meaning “alone” or “single.” In Greek, “monos” conveys the idea of singularity or exclusivity.
  • Latin Formation: “Monopoly” combines the Greek prefix “mono-” with the Latin word “polium,” which means “sale of” or “market.” In Latin, “polium” referred to a marketplace or place of trade.
  • Semantic Context: In modern usage, a “monopoly” refers to the exclusive control or domination of a market by a single entity or group, thereby eliminating competition and enabling the monopolist to dictate terms such as prices and distribution.

The term monopoly emphasizes its association with exclusive control or dominance over a market, reflecting the idea of having a singular hold on the supply of a product or service.


  • Control
  • Dominance
  • Monopolization
  • Hegemony
  • Supremacy
  • Exclusivity
  • Ownership
  • Preeminence


  • Competition
  • Free market
  • Open market
  • Pluralism
  • Diversity
  • Fair market
  • Equal opportunity
  • Free enterprise


  • Monopolistic
  • Monopolize
  • Monopolist
  • Monopolize
  • Monopolization
  • Monopolizer
  • Monopolized
  • Monopolizing

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