n. pl. mo·nop·o·lies
1. Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service: "Monopoly frequently ... arises from government support or from collusive agreements among individuals" (Milton Friedman).
a. A company, group, or individual having exclusive control over a commercial activity.
b. A commodity or service so controlled.
a. Exclusive possession or control: arrogantly claims to have a monopoly on the truth.
b. Something that is exclusively possessed or controlled: showed that scientific achievement is not a male monopoly.
[Latin monopōlium, from Greek monopōlion : mono-, mono- + pōlein, to sell; see pel-4 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.